Following critical comments by the British and American AC36 teams, the New Zealand Government admitted on Thursday that Covid-19 travel restrictions could have ‘some impact’ on next year’s America’s Cup.
New Zealand borders remain closed to all except returning citizens and permanent residents, who must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
INEOS Team UK chief executive Grant Simmer had commented that they had not heard any news from the New Zealand Government on work visas to allow them to get their team into Auckland to complete quarantine . . . “It’s hard for us to plan without that advice.”
The New Zealand Government statement:
At this stage it is hard to know the extent to which COVID-19 will affect the 36th Americas Cup in Auckland, however there is likely to be some impact.
The Government is highly motivated to see the 36th Americas Cup go ahead. However, critical factors including restrictions on gatherings, and any restrictions for borders both here and internationally still have to be worked through.
With the first competitive AC75 races – Christmas Cup – due to take place in December in Auckland, there is not a lot of time for the teams to test and tune their new boats.
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield speaking at the daily briefing, said that they would only open the borders ‘when they were confident they could control the risk at the border’.
This would involve putting testing in place for all quarantined and self-isolating entrants. He added that they did not yet have a timeframe for easing of the border controls.