There are now 35 new cases of Covid-19 in the community and 24 other cases detected in MIQ facilities. Video / NZ Herald
Kiwi fashion blogger and socialite Jaime Ridge has denounced Jacinda Ardern and the government over what she describes as the “completely unconstitutional” MIQ system after missing a piece while stuck in the United States.
The daughter of Kiwi TV personality and real estate agent Sally Ridge says she has been contacted by hundreds of her subscribers who are also unable to return to New Zealand due to the ongoing MIQ system.
“How the hell do you get a spot in MIQ?” Ridge wrote in an Instagram story.
“Number 9000 in the ‘queue’ yesterday and I’m absolutely confused. The flights are booked and have been for weeks, then the government changed the rules (again)… Who’s running this show. skill total Just a bunch of muppets.
“@jacindaardern, your lack of compassion for these people abroad is mind-boggling. You have to learn to practice what you preach.”
Based on his Instagram account, Jaime Ridge is currently in Los Angeles with her fiance Tommy Bates – who works for social media company Snapchat.
Some of Ridge’s more recent articles show that she visits and dines at LA museums and Palm Springs spas.
Ridge currently runs the Jaime Dillon Ridge fashion blog and has 51,000 Instagram followers.
In 2012, Ridge and her mother Sally starred in their own six-part reality TV show The Ridges on TV3.
In today’s frustrated Instagram post, Ridge also expressed sympathy to the hundreds of her similarly predominantly Kiwi followers overseas who contacted her.
“I have hundreds of messages from all of you, and I am so sorry that you are going through what we are. It’s horrible, isolating and completely unconstitutional. And made worse by heavy people who absolutely cannot understand what we are. live But know that you are not alone and that you are in my thoughts!
“I am also sorry that I do not have time to respond to each of you, but please know that I am thinking of all of you and sharing your tears. Sending love x”
Interest in the MIQ triple lottery, but most lose
In recent days, the government has come under new criticism over the MIQ system, which is still in effect until at least the end of February.
The latest MIQ room release, Jan. 6, only saw a 12% success rate for the 10,995 people who had been in the lottery queue to exit the room.
The government had announced that it would end MIQ for New Zealand citizens and Australian residents on January 17.
But on December 21, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins reversed that date due to the spread of the Omicron variant around the world – extending the MIQ operation for anyone entering New Zealand. until at least the end of February.
Acting Deputy Secretary for Managed Segregation and Quarantine Andrew Milne acknowledged the frustration of Kiwis around the world who had missed the release of the room on January 6.
None of those who have recovered the 1,250 MIQ rooms that have been vacated are from Australia.
“Given the complexity of managing the Omicron and Delta variants, MIQ needs to closely monitor our capacity to operate. For this reason, the [January 6] The lobby was smaller than usual and focused on March and April, ”Milne said.
Arrivals will come from 76 countries, MIQ officials said.
The MIQ Hall release was previously scheduled for two days before Christmas, but it was postponed until January 6 after the Omicron outbreak in many other parts of the world prompted the government to cut its auto component. isolation for newcomers.
“Switching to a 10-day MIQ stay resulted in a reduction in overall MIQ capacity,” Milne said.
“Due to this, the additional groups that must be accommodated and the work MIQ is doing to facilitate the return of some Australian travelers, it is unlikely that we will release any further vouchers for January or February.”
He urged anyone with a voucher that they no longer intend or have the ability to use it to cancel it so the room can return to the pool.
The increase of the highly infectious variant of Omicron in many other parts of the world, including Australia, also led the government to delay plans for a self-isolation route from Australia, which was to start Jan. 16.
“Currently, airlines do not have red flights scheduled from Australia for March or April,” Milne said. “As a result, red flights are also not available in the MIQ Flight Checker, which is the tool used by travelers to link a voucher to MIQ.
“This means that people intending to travel from Australia in March or April will not have been able to obtain vouchers that will be linked to an existing and qualifying flight.”
He said MIQ was working with airlines and government agencies “in relation to the delayed opening of the border and possible flight schedules”.