Sydney Covid-19 case visited NZ over the weekend

Marco Green
Июня 23, 2021

The Wellington region will move to Level 2 from 6pm tonight until 11.59pm on Sunday, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced following a special meeting.

Air New Zealand has cancelled direct services from Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown to Sydney following a new Covid-19 cluster in Sydney.

Hipkins said the infected man had received one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and his partner, whom he traveled with, was awaiting her Covid-19 test results.

It's not known whether she was also vaccinated.

"Everything is on the table", he said.

People queue outside a COVID-19 testing station in central Wellington, New Zealand on Wednesday.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said earlier health authorities were considering a possible lockdown, telling RNZ's Morning Report it was one option being looked at.

"We are assuming they were infectious in Wellington", he said.

Bloomfield said there would be "quite a number of exposure sites".

Four close contacts in NZ have already been identified: two people from Palmerston North and Tauranga each, all of whom are isolating.

It is understood the Australian caught the virus in Sydney before going on holiday, New Zealand's Ministry of Health said.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - After enjoying almost four months without any community transmission of the coronavirus, New Zealanders were on edge Wednesday after health authorities said an infectious traveler from Australia had visited over the weekend.

A full list is on NZ's Ministry of Health website, with anyone who visited those places at the same time being asked to isolate and get tested.

Two flights have been identified as potential transmission sites: Qantas QF163, departing Sydney at 7.05pm on Friday June 18 for Wellington, and Air New Zealand NZ247, departing Wellington at 10.13am on Monday June 21 for Sydney.

It is not clear how many people were on board the flights.

"We are assuming they were infectious in Wellington".

The Ministry of Health's contact-tracing team has been in touch with the airlines about contacting passengers on the two flights to provide advice. People who have been at the sites will need to isolate and should contact Healthline for further advice.

The rest of New Zealand remains at Alert Level 1.

He said we should follow Australia's lead and make people in Wellington wear masks indoors and move to alert level 1.5.

However, he said that order needed to come from the Government, not him.

"We need to upgrade our alert level system".

He stayed at the Rydges Hotel in Featherston St and visited 13 places of interest in Wellington, including central city restaurants and cafes, a bar, a Countdown supermarket and popular tourist attractions Te Papa and the Weta Cave Shop.

"Genome sequencing is underway in Australia to see if the case is linked to the current outbreak in Sydney".

The public health alert comes as air travel between Sydney and New Zealand was paused at midnight.

There are now 21 cases linked to the growing Bondi cluster - but Premier Gladys Berejiklian dampened fears a lockdown was imminent, saying most infections have been linked back to a source.

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