* Wellington places of interest published
* Bubble issue – travel between New Zealand and New South Wales pending
* The Delta variant creates a “plume of infectious particles”
* Complete list of places of interest at the bottom of the article

The Wellington region, including Wairarapa and Kapiti Coast, will go to Alert Level 2 from 6 p.m. this evening until 11.59 p.m. Sunday.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said there will be limits on the size of gatherings and no more than 100 people will now be able to meet at a time.

The change in alert levels comes after a man from Sydney visited the area while infected with the Covid-19 Delta variant.

Face masks were now mandatory on public transport and people were encouraged to wear them while waiting for transport, he said.

People are waiting outside a Covid-19 test site in Taranaki St, Wellington today.  Photo / Jack Crossland
People are waiting outside a Covid-19 test site in Taranaki St, Wellington today. Photo / Jack Crossland

Hipkins also encouraged people to wear masks where social distancing was not possible.

The schools would remain open, as would the ECE centers.

Hotel outlets could open but had to apply the three S’s – sit, separate, and have one server.

Upgrading to level 2 will shut out crowds at tonight’s Wellington Sports Awards, Maori All Blacks rugby match against Samoa at Sky Stadium on Saturday, as well as Saints basketballers and Pulse netballers home games on Sunday, Newstalk ZB reports. .

“We’ve always had plans in place for situations like this and that’s what we’re working on right now,” Hipkins said.

The contact tracers were working “to the beat,” he said.

Hipkins said the case was a reminder of the need to use the Covid tracer app and turn on the Bluetooth feature.

If people had been in the Wellington area over the weekend, they had to take the alert level restrictions with them.

If someone had been in Wellington over the weekend and was now in Christchurch, for example, they shouldn’t be going to large gatherings, Hipkins said.

A person infected with Covid-19 traveled to Wellington this weekend.  Photo / Mark Mitchell
A person infected with Covid-19 traveled to Wellington this weekend. Photo / Mark Mitchell

When asked why there was no lockdown, Hipkins said the government was taking a “cautious approach” and monitoring the situation.

MPs, ministers would not attend gatherings of more than 100 people, no matter where they are in the country.

Parliament will continue to sit today but will observe Level 2 restrictions.

Four close contacts of the man were notified last night and placed in isolation and tested.

Two results are back so far – both are negative.

Chief Health Officer Ashley Bloomfield said based on the timeline of symptom onset and the CT value of the test, the virus was contracted before the traveler’s visit to New Zealand.

The traveler works at a healthcare workplace near Bondi Junction – an area linked to the current outbreak in Sydney.

Hipkins said there would be cases of Covid-19 from time to time “popping up” in New Zealand or Australia. Hipkins said authorities in New South Wales had responded “very quickly” to cases that emerged last week.

If New Zealand took a break every time there was a case, the transtasman bubble would be useless, Hipkins said.

When asked if the traveler should have taken a flight in the first place, Bloomfield said NSW residents shouldn’t have visited New Zealand if they were in places of interest related to the Sydney epidemic.

The man’s workplace had not been identified as a place of interest at this point, Bloomfield said.

When asked if the travel bubble should have been ended sooner, Hipkins said the government made the decision when the number of cases in Sydney rose yesterday.

Hipkins received a text about the positive case at around 8:30 p.m. and called his counterparts in New South Wales.

The traveler and someone who traveled with them used the Covid tracer app in Wellington, Bloomfield said.

All places of interest related to the traveler were now public.

Te Papa closed after the Covid-positive traveler visited an exhibit on Saturday.  Photo / Mark Mitchell
Te Papa closed after the Covid-positive traveler visited an exhibit on Saturday. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Hipkins said officials obtained information about the places of interest as soon as they could.

He denied that the release of this information had been “slow”.

New Zealand health officials spoke about Australia’s Covid case until the early hours of this morning, Bloomfield said.

Bloomfield said experts need to go through a process regarding the right instructions to be given to people at places of interest.

Some specific Wellington Airport locations would be published when the CCTV was reviewed.

Four contacts related to the Australian traveler had been isolated – two in Palmerston North and two in Tauranga.

Although there are close contacts in Palmerston North and Tauranga, there are no places of interest in either of these towns.

The Contract Research Team is tracking down 58 passengers who were on the Sydney flight the man was on.

The people on this flight were close contacts and had to self-isolate for 14 days and be tested on day 5 and day 12.

Additional testing capacity has been added to the Wellington sites. General practitioners and emergency care centers are also said to be doing tests.

Asked whether the traveler’s visit to Wellington’s pharmacy was taken a closer look, Bloomfield said the traveler did not start to experience symptoms until 3 a.m. on Monday.

Bloomfield did not directly answer the question when asked if the traveler used buses or taxis to get around Wellington.

When asked why authorities did not immediately alert Wellingtonians in places of interest via the Covid tracker app this morning, Bloomfied said it was “a question fair balance “.

“We are getting information as quickly as possible,” Hipkins said.

Bloomfield said he tried to contact places of interest before this information was made public.

Bloomfield did not directly respond to whether all Australian travelers should be required to download the Covid trace app before leaving the airport.

No decision has been taken on the Prime Minister’s next visit to Australia.

The government will not be making the Dawn Raid apologies scheduled for this Saturday in Auckland, Hipkins said.

It would be rescheduled, he said.

Meanwhile, Te Papa’s general manager has confirmed that she herself is a close contact with the Sydney traveler.

Courtney Johnston is now in isolation at home because she was at the surreal art exhibit on Saturday that the Covid-infected tourist visited.

Bloomfield also revealed that we have administered 1 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. DHB were 7.5% ahead of the plan, he said.

Supply issues were impacting the speed of deployment and larger vaccine deliveries were expected shortly, Hipkins said.

When asked if this means New Zealand needs to speed up the deployment of the Covid-19 jab, Hipkins said “the vaccine deployment is going as fast as it can get.”

Hipkins said the government is not considering delaying the Kiwis’ second Covid jab to ensure more people get their first jab.

When asked whether or not New Zealand could hit 70,000 shots of Covid-19 a day, Hipkins said he was confident every Kiwi would be offered a shot this year.

Hipkins said the man had received a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and that his partner, with whom he traveled, is awaiting the results of his Covid-19 test.

It is not known if she was also vaccinated.

The Covid-positive traveler stayed at the Rydges Hotel on Featherston Street in Wellington.  Photo / Mark Mitchell
The Covid-positive traveler stayed at the Rydges Hotel on Featherston Street in Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Fourteen potential exhibition sites have been released to date. They are:

* Qantas flight QF163 Sydney to Wellington, arrival at Wellington Airport, Saturday at 12:05 am
* Rydges Hotel, Featherston St, 12 noon, Saturday 9:10 am Monday
* Unichem Wellington Pharmacy, Lambton Quay, 10:38-11:48 a.m., Saturday
* Te Papa Tongarewa, 3:05 p.m. – 5:45 p.m., Saturday
* Te Papa Tongarewa – Surrealist Art Exhibition: Masterpieces from the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum, 4 pm-5.45pm, Saturday
* Jack Hackett’s Bar, 8:45 p.m.-12 p.m. Saturday
* Restaurant Floridita, 161 Cuba St, Te Aro, from 12:45 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays
* Highwater Eatery, 54 Cuba St, 5:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Saturdays
* Café Pickle & Pie, 2 Lombard St, 9:45 a.m. to 11:37 a.m., Sunday
* The Weta Cave boutique, 1 Weka St, Miramar, from 11:10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sunday
* Lido Café, 81 Victoria Street, Te Aro, 1 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., Sunday
* Unity Books, 57 Willis St, 1:50 p.m. to 3:05 p.m., Sunday
* Cable Lane countdown, 280/284 Lambton Quay, 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., Sunday
* One Red Dog, 56 Customhouse Quay, 7-9 p.m., Sunday

More details on locations and tips for contacts and casual contacts-plus can be found here.

Bloomfield revealed this morning that the man became symptomatic on his flight back to Sydney on Monday.

“We assume they were contagious in Wellington,” he said.

Bloomfield said the man was doing “tourist activities” in the capital, but the Department of Health had yet to contact the businesses and sites concerned before advising the public of places of interest related to the visit .

It comes as New South Wales Health issued a public health alert last night and said all passengers aboard affected Qantas and Air New Zealand flights were in close contact. They were all asked to get tested and isolated for 14 days.

The authorities would now work intensely with the traveler to establish what their movements were.

“They probably weren’t wearing masks, the contact will be closer and they might have been at high risk events. That’s the unknown now.

“This is a more infectious variant. The risk is higher than usual. But we have a good contact tracing system, so I hope it will be effective,” he said. .

It would be the first time that the more infectious Delta variant has circulated in New Zealand in a community outbreak, he said.

He said there are still too many unknowns to determine how risky this could be for New Zealand, but he hopes there will be a lot more information, including places of interest that the person visited, published today.

The Department of Health spokesperson said genome sequencing was underway in Australia to see if the case was linked to the current outbreak in Sydney.

The public health alert comes as the plane trip between Sydney and New Zealand was cut short at midnight.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-23 00:45:00


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