Government's economic response to COVID-19 needs to be 'swift and significant' - National

Bridges reiterates National's call for the Government to widen its coronavirus testing criteria.
Bridges reiterates National's call for the Government to widen its coronavirus testing criteria. Photo credit: Newshub/Getty.

National says a "bold" economic response from the Government is critical to limit the financial fallout from the COVID-19 coronavirus. 

The Opposition's response comes after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she would unveil an economic package designed to get New Zealand "through the worst" of the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday.

Ardern added on Saturday that every person entering New Zealand will be required to self-isolate for 14 days from midnight Sunday.

National leader Simon Bridges says National wants to support the Government but will need to see the analysis and advice these actions were based on.

"We also need to see how self-isolation will work in practice, and how the many thousands of returning Kiwis will be supported throughout this process," says Bridges.

While New Zealanders wait to see how they will be supported with the proposed economic package, National's Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says the ramifications of the 14-day isolation will largely "shut down" the tourism industry. 

Goldsmith adds the economic impact of the travel clampdown could be unprecedented.

"We need to see what is planned by way of economic stimulus to accompany this move," he says.

"Tuesday's economic package needs to combine targeted assistance to stave off massive job losses in the tourism industry, as well as broader stimulus."

Bridges reiterates National's call for the Government to widen its coronavirus testing criteria.

"Tests are only allowed for people with symptoms who can prove a link to a case, despite clear evidence that those who are not displaying symptoms are able to transmit the virus," he says.

"This is too restrictive and too many concerned Kiwis with coronavirus symptoms are being denied tests simply because they cannot prove a link to a case."

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