Duncan Garner: We're bringing in far too many people from high-risk countries - time to knock it on the head

OPINION: I think it's time to totally rethink our borders and approach to quarantine.

I have said on numerous occasions to shut the bloody border.

Everywhere I went this Waitangi weekend people said to me, "why don't we?"

But our current policy is still to import the virus at great cost. How on earth can we beat it if we import it?

We keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. Impossible.

Think about it; despite spending billions to keep it out, we are actually spending billions bringing it into our quarantine facilities and hoping like buggery it doesn't escape.

The virus is only here because we allow it in. Man, we've been lucky it hasn't run amok.

Duncan Garner.
Duncan Garner. Photo credit: The AM Show

But luck is not a response and standing still right now is a losing formula. 

I'd close the borders almost completely - for a limited time and only the most exceptional circumstances need to apply. But we're told you can't. 

We bring in far too many people from high-risk countries, so at least knock that on the head or seriously limit numbers. Japan, for example, has blocked people from 150 countries.

We should reduce the quarantine spaces dramatically and close some of these hotels; we are still allowing around 11,000 returnees a month. 

A lockdown worries me - it's expensive and it will cost jobs.

And we still have our border workers unvaccinated. It's time to tighten up

It's a complex virus and we must stay ahead of it.

We haven't come this far to lose now. 

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.