UPDATE: Covid-19 NZ: Wellington moving into alert level 2 tonight

UPDATE: Covid-19 NZ: Wellington moving into alert level 2 tonight

The Wellington region will move to alert level 2 from 6pm tonight until 11.59pm on Sunday.

RNZ,

23 June, 2021

The announcement comes after a person who travelled from Sydney to Wellington tested positive for the virus upon their return.

The person was in Wellington from 19 June until 21 June.

In today’s 1pm press conference, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says that includes the Wairarapa and the Kāpiti Coast.

The rest of New Zealand will remain at alert level 1.

“We just held a special meeting and out of an abundance of caution the Wellington region will move to alert level 2 from 6pm tonight and that will run through at this point until 11.59pm on Sunday,” Hipkins says.

Alert level 2 means:

  • Limits on gathering size to fewer than 100 people, including tangi, church services, weddings and so on
  • Physical distancing in public places of 2m, and at least 1m in most other places including workplaces
  • Face masks remains mandatory on all public transport, and encourages while waiting for public transport and in rideshare services and taxis as well
  • Businesses can open but must follow public health rules including the 100 person cap on venues
  • Hospitality locations must apply the three S rules
  • As with all levels, people with symptoms should call healthline or their doctor to seek advice on getting a test

Travel is not restricted under alert level 2 but anyone who has been in the Wellington region over the weekend should keep alert level 2 behaviours if they go elsewhere.

“I want to reiterate that these are precautionary measures … first and foremost we want to ensure that New Zealanders are not exposed to Covid-19.”

On the person in question, Hipkins says they were likely to have been infected before they travelled to New Zealand.

“I do want to reassure New Zealanders that we’ve always had plans in place for situations like this and that is what we are working through now. Our contact tracers have been working at pace and they have been since we were first notified of this case last night.”

He says the case, who has since returned to Sydney was spoken to last night and again early this morning. Their four close contacts were notified last night, and two have returned negative results.

He also says the decision to pause travel with New South wales was made before New Zealand officials were notified of the case. When the case left Sydney there were just four cases there, though that number has since grown significantly.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says authorities learnt this morning that the new case works in a healthcare setting close to the Bondi junction that is the centre of the current outbreak in Sydney. He says one of the other cases that is part of the current outbreak had been seen there.

The person has had the first dose of a vaccine about 10 weeks ago and thoroughly used the Covid-19 Tracer app while visiting in New Zealand.

“Our hope is that many people who visited those venues that are locations of interest have also been using the app … however that is complementary to the information that we have put out on our website.”

He says the ministry feels confident they have identified all the locations of interest but more specific information will be provided about specific locations at Wellington airport after CCTV has been assessed.

Two of the person’s four contacts are located in Palmerston North, and the other two are in Tauranga. Those in Tauranga had a much more fleeting interaction with the case. All four are isolating.

Some 58 passengers who came into New Zealand from Sydney early on Saturday morning are considered close contacts and will have been contacted, Bloomfield says. They would all have been notified last night and be ringing Healthline directly.

Bloomfield says he encourages Wellingtonians and others who have been in Wellington over the weekend to check the places in the locations of interest. Some people will be required to isolate for the full 14 days.

The case stayed at Rydges Hotel in Featherston Street and spent the weekend in tourist and other places around Wellington and dining in the central city. Some of those who were on the return flight to Sydney have since returned to New Zealand and are also being contacted.

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

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

NSW record 16 new covid cases as more restrictions announced

Premier Gladys Berejiklian provides the media with an update on Covid-19 in Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gaye GerardTough new restrictions have been announced for parts of NSW after Sydney recorded 16 new Covid-19 cases.

NSW bans travel outside of Sydney, masks mandatory masks everywhere

Non-essential travel outside of Sydney has been banned and masks made mandatory everywhere including workplaces.

Evening queues at Bondi Beach drive-through Covid-19 testing clinic as a cluster of Covid-19 cases in Sydney's eastern suburbs continues to grow. Picture: Christian Gilles

Non-essential travel outside of Sydney has been banned and masks made mandatory everywhere including workplaces.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the sweeping new restrictions on Wednesday as the state’s coronavirus outbreak spreads.

Ms Berejiklian said people who live or work in the seven affected local government areas – City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside and Woollahra – “cannot travel outside Sydney” unless they are “visiting a relative in care or have to go to work”.

“So unless it is essential travel, you should not be going outside metropolitan Sydney for the next week, and we apologise in advance that this impacts some people’s ability to travel during the school holidays,” she said.

Dancing limits for weddings are also back, with no more than 20 people allowed on the dance floor. The one person per four square metre rule is also being reintroduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals.

“We know that will have an impact on family gatherings like funerals or weddings but these are measures we have to take charge of now so we don’t have to do anything more severe down the track,” the Premier said.

NSW recorded another 16 new cases overnight, including 10 new locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, seven of which were announced yesterday.

There were also 13 new locally acquired cases confirmed after the official reporting period, meaning they will be included in tomorrow’s numbers. There are now 37 cases linked to the Bondi cluster.

The new restrictions apply to the seven LGAs and will be enforced from 4pm today, lasting for one week:

• Visitors to households will be limited to five guests – including children.

• Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events.

• Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed.

• Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship will not be allowed.

• Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs however, dancing is allowed at weddings for the bridal party only (no more than 20 people).

• Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn).

• The one person per four square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals.

• Outdoor seated events will be limited to 50 per cent seated capacity.

• Previous public transport capacity limits, represented by green dots, will be reintroduced;

• If you live or work in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra local government areas, you cannot travel outside metropolitan Sydney for non-essential travel.

One thought on “UPDATE: Covid-19 NZ: Wellington moving into alert level 2 tonight

  1. In 2004—at the age of 16—I had the great honor of participating in the People to People Student Ambassador program. This entailed a three week trip split between the east coast of Australia and both islands of New Zealand. I formed an instant connection with both countries and for some time had a tickle of aspiration to one day live in either. As I became more aware of the globalist agenda through the first years of my adulthood, this notion of moving to a faraway (but still “western” English speaking) land removed from the center of the world stage seemed tantalizing.

    Oh how I lament the news this past year that comes out of New Zealand and Australia both. They seem to have become the petri dishes for some of the most cruel lockdown measures on this ‘prison’ planet of ours. As an aside I suppose this is rather true for most of the western world. Canada, the UK, Europe, et al.

    I am now prouder than ever to reside in the United States, home of the last — and this is critically important — fully armed civilian population on the planet. The globalists are truly obliged to tread ever more lightly in the states. Alas, every other tool in their bag of tricks are still being employed upon us, but the outright police state is kept at bay by her people…

    for now.

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