Opinion: Face masks.
There was a lot of chatter around the place this morning that COVID Minister Ayesha Verrall was going to move the country from Orange to Red, and thus expand face mask requirements.
She didn't, the rules are still the same now as they were yesterday.
You still have to wear a mask on public transport, on domestic flights, in taxis, at public venues like libraries and museums, at the supermarket, petrol stations, pharmacies, takeaway outlets, and other retail stores, health providers, the vet, at our courts, and government buildings including police stations.
So still quite a lot of places where you are legally required to wear a mask.
Is this approach still the correct one?
I ask this because, in so many of these places, people are not wearing their masks.
I also ask because I've just been overseas and in the UK, there's no mask-wearing rules at all, which took a while to get used to.
Is it time to move to a personal choice model instead of a mandated model?
People are already breaking the rules, they're not being enforced, so the system clearly isn't working.
Minister Verrall says wearing a good mask can reduce spreading the virus by as much as 53 percent.
So it's a no-brainer that wearing a mask is a good way to stay safe.
But forcing people to wear them isn't working.
Let's give New Zealanders some credit and allow them to make up their own mind regarding masks.
Some people hate them, but others feel safer wearing them.
So is it time to give us some personal responsibility regarding masks?
Surely this will be the next step?