New Zealand border staff informed they must get Covid-19 vaccine or they will be redeployed
Three workers from a managed isolation facility in Auckland have tested positive for the virus.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that the country's border workers must be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of April or they will be redeployed to lower-risk roles.
She was speaking after a third worker from a managed isolation facility at the Grand Millennium hotel in Auckland tested positive for Covid-19.
Known as 'case C', the worker had been given the chance to get the vaccine but was unable to attend because, it is believed, they were already self-isolating after being found to be a close contact of the second case.
Previously, it was revealed that the second worker to test positive - 'case B' - had missed two vaccine appointments due to personal reasons.
New Zealand's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has said there is no suggestion that case B or C was vaccine-hesitant.
Speaking to TVNZ, Ardern stated that while 79% of First Security - the security company for which case B and C work - has been vaccinated, the number was not good enough.
She explained: "We need everyone to be vaccinated. What we always planned is that from Monday through to the end of April that becomes the final window where if people are not vaccinated in that period of time, then they are redeployed, they are moved on.
"That was always the point that we had to get to.
"We believe we have a health and safety obligation to people who are at the frontline in managed isolation.
"It's a big call but we always had the view that people would have to be moved on at that stage."
Ardern added that the rule applies to all border workers, including hotel staff, security guards and health workers.
Meanwhile, New Zealand announced last week that quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia will begin on Monday, 19 April.