New Zealand's capital region raises COVID-19 alert level

2021-06-23 03:06:09 GMT2021-06-23 11:06:09(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

WELLINGTON, June 23 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's Wellington region raised its COVID-19 alert to level 2 from 6:00 p.m. Wednesday until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, after a visiting Sydney traveler tested positive for COVID-19 upon return to Australia.

The Australian man visited Wellington from June 19 to 21. This is the first COVID-19 case detected on an Australian traveler to New Zealand after the two countries opened a quarantine-free travel bubble in April.

The man most likely contracted the virus in Sydney before visiting New Zealand, based on the time of the symptom onset and CT score, according to the Ministry of Health.

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

Under COVID-19 Alert Level 2, gatherings are limited to fewer than 100 people, social distancing must be observed in public places, and masks are compulsory on all public transport.

Further contact tracing is being conducted at sites of interest where the patient had visited. People who have been at these sites should isolate themselves and should contact Healthline for further advice.

Passengers who flew on the same flights with the infection must immediately isolate at home or accommodation, and call the health department to book testing.

New Zealand Tuesday evening announced quarantine free travel with Australia's New South Wales (NSW) to New Zealand would pause following the emerging of community cases in Sydney.

The pause would be in place for 72 hours initially and under constant review, according to COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. Enditem