Animation Research founder Sir Ian Taylor’s plan for a private self-isolation system for international travel is being tested after government approval.
The plan is designed to free up MIQ space for Kiwis returning from abroad, allowing key business travelers to self-isolate at home after taking tests before departure and on arrival.
Taylor had let Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern out of his frustration with the existing system in a LinkedIn post in June, saying it was barbaric to deny one of his U.S.-based employees a place in quarantine when trying to return to New Zealand with Time to spend with his sick father.
A specialist treating clerk Simon Chattington’s “terminally ill” father suggested that any overseas family should return to spend time with him, but Chattington did not qualify for one of the limited beds as he could not guarantee that his father would die within six months.
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Taylor’s plan, dubbed # 151 Off The Bench, was approved by the Department of Corporate Innovation and Employment Friday and sees him take a self-funded round trip from Dunedin to Auckland, Los Angeles, San Francisco and back that consumes the most previous tests for Covid-19 available. The idea is that it wouldn’t take up any space in MIQ.
Taylor said he had been planning it for a while, putting together all the relevant technology available.
“MIQ was a problem and a lot of people had to come home and also a lot of companies had to travel and come back … to do.”
Dunedin businessman Ian Taylor has approval to test a new Coivd-safe itinerary for important business trips.
It mattered less when the whole world was sealed off, but now a lot of countries have moved on and they don’t see why New Zealand wasn’t open, he said. The idea was that the system would only be accessible to people who absolutely have to travel and can book and confirm the time of their return, he said.
According to the plan, travelers would have to prove they have no Covid when boarding the plane and also take tests on arrival. You would also need to limit any possible exposure overseas by following safety protocols and not moving more than necessary.
The groups that would use the system, usually small business teams, would be “heavily invested” in order not to break the rules because of cost considerations.
If it was successful, it could then be rolled out to larger groups such as sports teams.
MBIE would tick all of the tests used in the study, including a new microjet test that only lasted 25 minutes and could be done before departure, Taylor said.
In the future, tests may be available at airports at check-in. If a traveler tested positive, they would return to their hotel for another two weeks.
Upon arrival, travelers would go straight to isolation. Initially, it would be for the entire two-week period, but in the future, the time in isolation could be shortened to a few days, he said.
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Offshore drilling worker Toshi Brunning, pictured with his son’s Matthew and Arley, will only spend a day with his family before returning to his job in the Timor Sea due to his long stay at MIQ and his six-week absence.
Last week, offshore drill worker Toshi Brunning told Stuff he was preparing to end his 15-year career after struggling to get home to spend time with family due to MIQ capacity.
After a six-week and six-week break, he only has to spend a day in quarantine with his Taranaki family for a month before he flies back to Darwin and is transferred to an oil rig in the Timor Sea.
Brunning is one of more than 400 offshore oil and gas workers who have fought for the government to provide an alternative MIQ facility, either at home self-isolation or guaranteed fly-in-fly-out (Fifo) MIQ locations -Employee.