(Bloomberg) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she will start to allow some foreign workers into the country if she wins a second term in office at next month’s election.
Ardern’s Labour Party would set aside 10% of New Zealand’s managed isolation capacity for critical workers to enter the country, Ardern said in a statement Friday. Her government would also seek to exploit New Zealand’s success in containing Covid-19 by targeting high-value international investment, she said.
“Careful management of our border, backed by one of the strictest managed isolation and quarantine systems in the world, has seen New Zealand keep Covid-19 contained at levels that only few countries have managed to achieve,” Ardern said. “It has given us the opportunity to capitalize on New Zealand’s strong record and reputation globally. We will ensure people with unique experience and technical or specialist skills that are not readily obtainable in New Zealand can enter the country safely.”
New Zealand succeeded in eliminating community transmission of the virus earlier this year. Its Covid-free run came to an end with new cases in largest city Auckland, but that outbreak now appears to have been contained. The election will be held on Oct. 17.
Only New Zealand citizens and residents can currently enter the country and they must serve two weeks in a managed isolation or quarantine facility. Almost 50,000 people have so far been through the facilities, which have capacity for about 14,000 a month.
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