DOORSTOP INTERVIEW: Easing of COVID19 restrictions

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RYAN PARK MP
NSW SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH

JOURNALIST: So following today’s announcement, what’s your reaction?

RYAN PARK, NSW SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH: Labor supports today’s announcement but we’ve also made it very clear that with it needs to come an emphasis from the government to increase the number of people who are getting their booster shot because unfortunately, the awareness and education campaign is not working and we need to get that dramatically ramped up.

JOURNALIST: Kerry Chant said that we’re through the peak of BA2 wave but you know, it’s going to be a steady decline of cases, what’s to say that the easing of these restrictions isn’t going to just see that number climb again?

PARK: We have to get the balance right. We have to keep people in jobs and businesses open at the same time, making sure the community is aware that COVID is still around, and that’s why we’re calling on the government to run a very comprehensive public awareness campaign about the importance of booster shots.

JOURNALIST: What would you like to see in terms of booster shot numbers for the next kind of level of easing of restrictions?

PARK: Well, at the moment, unfortunately, they are just too low and all of us want to ease restrictions, all of us want to put COVID behind us, but that’s not possible while we’ve got very, very low booster numbers. And what we’re saying to the government, is we support the easing of restrictions and the easing of these lockdown restrictions but with that comes an onus on them to make sure the community is aware that getting that third shot is absolutely critical. Because we want to make sure that businesses remain open, we want to make sure that people stay in jobs and families can get out and about and we can live with COVID. But living with COVID doesn’t mean that we live without government responsibility and the government has a responsibility to make sure that the community is very aware of just how important booster shots are.

JOURNALIST: Would you be calling for some kind of implementation of restriction for those that don’t have booster shots for example, close contact restrictions eased or you can go, you know, you can go to a gym or venue or such if you’ve had your booster?

PARK: Look, probably not at this stage, we want to see if we can get people out there and getting their booster shot as quickly as possible through a good quality public health and awareness and education campaign. But the reality is this, that people are not fully covered and not fully protected until they’ve had that booster shot and all of the health experts are telling us that that’s critical to get that message out. I think the government has a responsibility, particularly as we start to ease lockdown restrictions to make sure that awareness campaign is out and about in the community.

Thanks.

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