New Zealand has just hosted two international rugby union matches with near-full stadiums. The United Kingdom has just hosted the rugby league Challenge Cup Final at an empty Wembley Stadium.
It took New Zealand just 15 days from its first case to bring in a national lockdown together with early implementation of Covid-19 suppression strategies, including border closures.
By contrast, it took Britain over 50 days from first case to national lockdown and we didn’t introduce a travel quarantine until June 8, over four months later.
No wonder New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has just enjoyed a landslide election victory. The Johnson government’s decisions have not only cost lives they have hit the economy, the worst of both worlds.”
I find so much to admire in Jacinda Ardern, from her unifying leadership after the 2019 mosque attacks to her approach to being a working mother. But New Zealand’s PM was surely right when she called her recent election victory a “vote of confidence” in her handling of the pandemic.
I doubt her prescription of total elimination would work here, with our greater population density and reliance on international travel. But the point is, she made the right call for her own country and followed it through consistently. New Zealand is reaping a reward — more freedom as well as great sport.
Joe Murphy, Political Editor
Shhh... listen to the buskers
I agree that excessively loud buskers should be restricted in the West End (News, October, Monday). However, in the absence of concerts, “quieter” buskers should be encouraged because they are often the only live music we can enjoy.