NZ airport worker tests positive day after bubble BBC News

NZ airport worker tests positive day after bubble BBC News

The ministry revealed Covid-19 had been detected in a worker at Auckland Airport. Authorities say the case had nothing to do with the trans-Tasman bubble and that it was highly improbable it would affect movement.

The person works as a cleaner at Auckland International Airport cleaning planes that have flown internationally from countries where Covid-19 is widespread, the ministry said.

"The reason this person was part of our surveillance testing was because they were working in an area we consider to be high risk".

But, a week later on the 19, they had tested positive.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the border worker was fully vaccinated "early on" in the country's vaccine rollout.

They must not be awaiting the results of a Covid test, nor have any Covid symptoms, amongst other criteria. This shows us how important it is that as many New Zealanders as possible take up the offer to receive the vaccine when they are offered it and are protected.

"[It] means it is still possible to get Covid, but it won't make you almost as sick or likely to experience, potentially, some of the disastrous consequences we have seen overseas".

Under the terms of the trans-Tasman bubble agreement, all states, territories and New Zealand can suspend quarantine-free travel with places that have outbreaks.

A woman hugs her daughter and grand-daughter at Sydney International Airport
A woman hugs her daughter and grand-daughter at Sydney International Airport Credit Jenny Evans /Getty Images AsiaPac

She also said that both New Zealand and Australia are accepting that isolated new cases of COVID connected to the border were going to be part of their journey together and that this was a kind of scenario where movement between the two countries would be anticipated to continue.

The person was tested regularly because they worked in an area of high risk, Ardern said.

According to The Guardian, the New Zealand PM further stated that by no means did it constitute a "leaky border" to have someone who cleans planes carrying infected people test positive.

In its statement this afternoon, the Ministry of Health said the historical case was a recent returnee from Somalia via UAE who was tested on day 12 of their stay, but was considered recovered.

What does the new case mean for the bubble?

Yesterday two new cases of Covid-19 in MIQ were reported - both in arrivals from India before travel from there was suspended.

The person has been placed in isolation, interviewed, and their contacts are being tracked, New Zealand Health said Tuesday.

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