NSW Health is urgently contacting New Zealanders who have arrived in Sydney after new virus case discovered.
NSW Health is urgently contacting New Zealanders who have arrived in Sydney after new virus case discovered.

Urgent virus alert for NSW after NZ case

There are fears COVID-19 could have been brought into the country from New Zealand after a locally acquired case was uncovered across the Tasman after flights to Australia resumed.

NSW Health is contacting 455 people who have arrived from New Zealand since November 5 following the locally acquired case in Auckland.

The infected person visited three main venues in Auckland.

New Zealanders who have recently arrived in Australia have been contacted to see if they visited the same venues at the same time.

The venues include a restaurant, an apartment block, and a clothing store where the person worked as a shop assistant.

An Auckland Regional Health spokesperson said the person had gone to work despite being asked to isolate after being tested for COVID-19.

"This person became symptomatic on 9 November, was tested on 10 November, was asked to isolate, then went to work on 11 November," they said.

"We now know that this case called in sick to work after receiving the advice to isolate, but after a conversation with their manager went to work and wore a mask."

A NSW Health spokesperson said they were investigating if any arrivals from New Zealand could have come into contact with the new NZ case.

"Passengers have been sent a message with NSW Health advice and are being called to be alerted to a number of venues of concern in Auckland, consistent with advice provided in New Zealand," a NSW Health spokesperson said.

New Zealanders are able to travel into Sydney without undergoing quarantine, leaving health authorities scrambling to contact everyone after a positive local case was recorded in Auckland. Picture: Brett Costello
New Zealanders are able to travel into Sydney without undergoing quarantine, leaving health authorities scrambling to contact everyone after a positive local case was recorded in Auckland. Picture: Brett Costello

"This advice was also provided to passengers arriving in Sydney from New Zealand on (Friday) evening's flight.

"No passengers reported having attended the venues of concern and none had symptoms."

The spokesperson said the risk posed by quarantine-free travel remains low.

Flight passengers from New Zealand to Australia will be asked if they have attended these venues before they depart.

If they have, they will be not allowed to travel, the spokesperson said.

"All arrivals from New Zealand will be asked to monitor for even the mildest of symptoms and get tested and isolate if they appear unwell, then remain in isolation until a negative result is received, in line with routine advice for all people in NSW," they said.

The main venues of concern are:

  • A-Z Collection, 61 High Street, Auckland CBD on:
    • Sunday, November 8 between 10.30am and 6.30pm,
    • Monday, November 9, between 10.30am and 6.30pm
    • Wednesday, November 11, between 10.30am and 6.30pm
  • The Vincent Residences, 106 Vincent Street Auckland Central between:
    • Midnight on Saturday, November 7 and midday on Thursday, November 12
  • Red Pig Restaurant, Auckland CBD on:
    • Saturday, November 7 between 6pm and 8.30pm

A full list of locations of concern in New Zealand is available here.

Flights between New Zealand and Sydney, and New Zealand and the Northern Territory, resumed in October as part of the trans-Tasman Bubble between Australia and New Zealand, which both have low COVID-19 cases.

Flights between New Zealand and Melbourne were also approved as of November 9.

The locally acquired Auckland case could be linked to an infected Defence Force staffer who ate at a cafe close to where the person worked, NZ authorities have said.

Read the alert from the New Zealand Ministry of Health here.

There are more than 300 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW. To find your nearest clinic visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others/clinics or contact your GP.

Originally published as Urgent virus alert for NSW after NZ case



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