A new Covid case has been found in New Zealand, just days after the announcement that Australians would soon be able to travel across the ditch without quarantine.
The Auckland man had complained of a sore throat four days ago but continued to work over Easter at the Grand Millennium Hotel before getting tested.
He has a quarantine facility in Jet Park. No locations of potential infection have been released yet and the man lives alone.
NZ Director of Health Ashley Bloomfield believe the case is linked to arrivals to the country from India, which has seen 17 positive cases in isolation.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the country has temporarily suspended any inbound flights from India.
‘This isn’t a permanent arrangement but a temporary measure,’ she told reporters on Thursday afternoon.
‘We have an obligation to allow residents to return home.’
The suspension will come into place on Sunday and will be lifted on April 28. She says there are no imminent plans to suspend travel from other countries.
A new Covid case has been found in New Zealand , a 24-year-old border force worker who tested positive after working all over Easte
Ms Ardern said despite her government’s tardiness in opening up, New Zealanders had ‘absolutely missed’ Australia over the pandemic
Dr Bloomfield says they are currently testing the man’s colleagues at the hotel and anyone who has been in contact with him are being told to isolate until their tests are returned.
‘Our managed isolation facilities have a whole range of measures in place to reduce the risk for workers,’ he said.
‘I’m confident that our procedures are very good.’
The case has thrown the recently announced travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand into severe doubt.
The man returned high CT values, which means the case is either at the beginning or end of its infection.
A repeat test is currently awaiting results so health officials can do more analysis on the case.
Dr Bloomfield says an Emirates flight that arrived in Auckland from India via Dubai has been the focus of investigation after concerns with the accuracy of testing and validity of documents.
He says there’s no plans to stop the route yet as it is the only way home for many Kiwis living abroad.
There are currently 23 other new cases in the country, all of which are in isolation and 17 of which originate from India.
India recorded 117,000 new cases of coronavirus on April 6 as the country continues to see a worrying and exponential increase in infections.
Australians heading to New Zealand will be kept separate from other international arrivals who are still required to go into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Tuesday she would welcome Australian travellers without the need for quarantine from April 19.
Australians heading to New Zealand will be kept separate from other international arrivals who are still required to go into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days.
Ms Ardern has said there will be no vaccine requirement when travelling in the trans-Tasman bubble, but strict Covid protocols will still be carried out.
Passengers will be required to undergo random temperature checks, wear facemasks during the flight and must download New Zealand’s Covid Tracer app.
All travellers on board a ‘green zone flight’ must also have been in Australia for at least 14 days before departure.
The recent coronavirus outbreak in Auckland could see those plans scrapped however, with the government set to make an announcement on the new case with potential restrictions to be added.
Ms Ardern said despite her government’s tardiness in opening up, New Zealanders had ‘absolutely missed’ Australia over the pandemic.
‘I can’t believe I’m saying this, but we have absolutely missed you,’ she said on the Today Show on Wednesday morning.
‘We want you to come and see us again. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, that’s definitely the case for us here.
‘You won’t find a Kiwi that won’t have a story of someone in Australia that they have missed and they really want to welcome back.’