NZ airport worker tests positive day after bubble BBC News

James Marshall
April 20, 2021

New Zealand authorities have confirmed that an airport worker has tested positive, just 24 hours after the first flights from Australia arrived.

An Auckland Airport worker has tested positive to coronavirus just one day after Australians were welcomed into New Zealand without having to quarantine.

Monday this week, the two countries finally opened a reciprocal travel bubble and thousands of passengers are booked to fly across the Tasman Sea.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says that the person was fully vaccinated, and the infection was picked up as part of routine testing. Rather the worker had been cleaning aircraft arriving in Auckland from high-risk countries.

The case appears to be unrelated to the travel bubble though and flights with Australia have not been suspended.

"I can confirm that that was someone who was vaccinated, and fully vaccinated, quite early on in the campaign", Ms Ardern said.

"They were last tested on the 12th and then the 19th - so regular testing. And it was their most recent test in which this case has been picked up", Ardern told media as reported by ABC News, saying that this showed how the protocols were working as the government had intended.

"All of the signs here pointing very much to the fact that this was a border worker who did work in an environment where they were coming into contact with the planes that are used to transport people from red zones".

Since October, travellers from New Zealand have been allowed to enter most Australian states without quarantine, though this had not been reciprocated amid concerns about sporadic Covid outbreaks in Australia.

According to The Guardian, the New Zealand PM further stated that by no means did it constitute a "leaky border" to have someone who cleans planes carrying infected people test positive.

Australia has recorded 910 deaths, and New Zealand 26 deaths.

The New Zealand government has previously determined a "traffic light" system to decide when the trans-Tasman bubble may need to close again. And for both sides, we're always looking for clear connection to the border.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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