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MoH update; Wellington to move to Alert Level 2

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No new community cases; four cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation; further locations of interest

June 23, 2021

The Wellington region will move to alert level 2 from 6pm tonight until 11.59pm on Sunday. It follows news of a person who travelled from Sydney tested positive for the virus upon their return to Australia. The person was in the capital from June 19 until June 21.

Meanwhile, there are no new cases of Covid-19 to report in the community in New Zealand today.

There are four cases to report in recent returnees in managed isolation facilities since the Ministry’s last update yesterday.

The number of active cases in New Zealand is 24.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases detected at the border is two. Since 1 January 2021, there have been 76 historical cases, out of a total of 551 cases.

Our total number of confirmed cases is 2367.

New border cases in New Zealand

Arrival date   From   Via   Positive test day/reason   Managed isolation/
quarantine location  
20 June Sri Lanka Japan Day 1/routine test Auckland
21 June United Arab Emirates Direct flight Day 0/routine test Auckland
21 June Russia United Arab Emirates Day 0/routine test Auckland
21 June United Arab Emirates Direct flight Day 0/routine test Auckland

Further locations of interest, Wellingtonians and visitors urged to check

Two further locations of interest in Wellington visited by an Australian traveller from Sydney last weekend who has tested positive for Covid-19 upon their return to Australia have been published on the Ministry of Health website.

New Zealand’s contact tracing team are working with their Australian counterparts to gather more information about the visitor’s movements and the website will continue to be updated as further exposure sites are confirmed.

Wellingtonians and visitors to Wellington last weekend are urged to check the website and continue checking throughout the day.

The visitor was in Wellington from Saturday June 19 until Monday June 21.

People who have been at these locations at the relevant time should immediately isolate at their home or accommodation and contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on testing.

Public health officials have said that based on the time of their symptom onset and CT score, it is most likely the visitor contracted the virus in Sydney prior to their visit to New Zealand.

Genome sequencing of the visitor is expected to be available later today.

The Ministry reminds everyone to please remain vigilant and stick to the basics: stay home if unwell and get advice about having a test, wash hands regularly, cough and sneeze into the elbow, wear masks or face coverings on all public transport, and keep track of where you’ve been – scan QR codes wherever you go and turn on Bluetooth tracing in the app dashboard.

Covid-19 testing

Additional testing will be provided in the region by Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast DHBs, which are currently prioritising tests for people who have been to locations of interest or who are displaying symptoms. The DHBs advise anyone seeking a test to make an appointment. The DHBs are also arranging additional testing capacity and will provide more information on their website.

The Ministry reminds anyone with symptoms to get tested. This advice applies to Wellingtonians and visitors to Wellington last weekend, not just those who visited locations of interest.

At this stage, four contacts in New Zealand have been identified and are isolating, following public health advice. Two have returned negative test results and results from the remaining two are expected this afternoon.

Passengers in New Zealand who flew on the following flights should also immediately isolate at their home or accommodation, and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on testing and isolating:
· Sydney to Wellington – QF163 (Qantas): Departed Sydney Friday 18 June 7:05pm (AEST), arrived Wellington Saturday 19 June 00:12am (NZST).
· Wellington to Sydney – NZ247 (Air New Zealand): departed Wellington Monday 21 June 10:13am (NZST), arrived Sydney Monday 21 June 11:33am (AEST).

Australian health authorities will be contacting those on the return flight to Sydney to provide advice about testing and isolation.

Advice for travellers from New South Wales

Quarantine-Free Travel with New South Wales (NSW) has been paused for 72 hours initially while the source of infection of new cases announced in Sydney is investigated.

There are now 21 recent community cases of Covid-19 in New South Wales.

The pause will be reviewed again on Thursday.

Anyone who has only been in Norfolk Island and not in NSW is still eligible for Quarantine Free Travel.

There is a Health Act section 70 notice in place that requires anyone who has been at a location of interest at the relevant time to contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453, get tested and stay at home until they get a negative test result, or remain isolated if instructed. They are also advised to continue to monitor for symptoms and if any develop, get tested again.

Contacts identified in New Zealand

There are 18 contacts who have been identified in New Zealand as being at locations of interest in Sydney and all have been provided appropriate health advice to stay at home and be tested.

Three of them are required to isolate for 14 days and be tested twice in that time.

A further 15 contacts were required to self-isolate until they return a negative day-five test. All contacts have returned a negative test result.

New Zealand health officials have also updated their advice for anyone already in New Zealand who has recently visited Sydney’s Westfield Bondi Junction mall.

NSW public health officials are continuing to add new locations of interest. Anyone who has been in Sydney since June 11 should check the NSW Health website.

Anyone at these locations of interest at the specified times should call Healthline on 0800 358 5453, get tested and self-isolate until they return a negative result.

Information about quarantine-free travel between New South Wales and New Zealand is available on the Covid-19 website:

Travellers from Queensland

Queensland public health authorities on Sunday announced a new community case in an air crew worker. New Zealand health officials have determined that, at this time, the Covid-19 public health risk to New Zealand is low.

Anyone who was at Brisbane Airport at DFO outlet shop between 4pm and 4.30pm, or the Brisbane Portuguese Family Centre from 7pm onwards on Saturday June 19 must, contact Healthline, get tested and stay home until they receive a negative result.

More information can be found on the Queensland Health website: Any further locations of interest will also be added to this webpage.

Travellers to New Zealand from anywhere in Australia:

·        Must meet eligibility criteria before travelling, depending on their circumstances this can involve not travelling for 14 days if they’ve been in a location of interest, or having a pre-departure test if an order is in place involving the State they’ve been in.
·        Must complete the Nau Mai Ra travel declaration which allows contact tracers to get in touch with them if they’ve been in an affected area at the relevant time but have since travelled to New Zealand.
·        Are asked two sets of questions about whether they’ve visited a location of interest. Passengers are asked on departure from Australia by their airline and on arrival in New Zealand by Customs at the eGate. If they answer yes, they are rejected by the eGate and a Customs officer sends them to a booth. They are also referred to the Health team on duty.
·        Are given advice on what to do if they become symptomatic.

Testing information

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 2,235,523.

On Tuesday, 5929 tests were processed. The seven-day rolling average is 4272.

For all testing locations nationwide visit the Healthpoint website.

This testing data does not include the number of tests processed by Waikato DHB, as systems remain down as a result of the cyber attack. The Waikato data continues to be recorded manually and monitored. The data will be added to the tally once systems have been restored. The manual data shows Waikato is continuing to process around 200 tests a day since May 17.

NZ Covid Tracer

NZ Covid Tracer now has registered users 2,860,236.

Poster scans have reached 288,990,720 and users have created 11,040,113 manual diary entries.

There have been 469,766 scans in the last 24 hours to midday yesterday.

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