Were you in Wellington from June 19?

Gisborne people who were in Wellington over the weekend should be wearing masks and following COVID Level 2 precautions, says Hauora Tairāwhiti Medical Officer of Health Dr Osman Mansoor.

Wellington is now at COVID-19 level 2 because there was an infectious person from Australia in Wellington over the weekend. Because the person used the COVID tracker to scan where they were going, 14 locations of interest(external link) have been identified. These include restaurants, shops and Te Papa where people may have been exposed.  The Ministry of Health website advises on actions for each site: a full 14-day quarantine or isolate until negative test result. 

“If you are a close contact of a person who was at a location of interest, you are a contact of a contact.  At present, no action is required unless you get symptoms; but please help/ensure that the person who was at the location is tested.  However, the COVID-19 variant this person has can spread rapidly and fast,” Dr Mansoor confirms. 

“If you have been in Wellington from Saturday 19 June, or if you come from there, the advice is to ‘bring your alert level with you’.  This means wearing masks if you are sharing air (indoors) with anybody outside your household, otherwise, keep your distance.  Over half of the spread of COVID-19 is from people with no symptoms.” 

If you do have any symptoms, please arrange to get tested immediately and stay home until the result is available.  Testing is through your GP, or 3 Rivers Medical if you are not registered at a GP practice. 

Wellingtonians and visitors to Wellington last weekend are urged to continually check locations of interest on the Ministry of Health website.(external link)

People who have been at these locations at the relevant time should immediately isolate themselves at their home or accommodation and contact Healthline 0800611 611 for advice on testing.   

New Zealand’s contact tracing team are working with their Australian counterparts to gather more information about the visitor’s movements and the Ministry of Health website(external link) will continue to be updated as further exposure sites are confirmed.  

At Alert Level 2, you can go to work and school, but you should consider others around you and follow key public health measures, including the following: 

  • Practice physical distancing – stay two metres apart in public places, and in retail stores like supermarkets and other shops – and at least one metre in most other places like workplaces, cafes, restaurants and gyms.
  • Wear a face covering on all public transport – it is compulsory –  but please also wear one when waiting for public transport and in taxis and rideshare services too. Wearing a face covering is also strongly recommended in all indoor settings where you don’t know people, such as retail outlets, events and in any situation where physical distancing is not possible. 

For more information on life at Alert Level 2, visit the COVID-19 website.(external link) 

The current situation shows it is critically important for everyone to remain vigilant and stick to the key public health behaviours in New Zealand. These include: 

  • Practising good hygiene - wash hands regularly, cough and sneeze into the elbow;  
  • Staying home if unwell and getting advice from Healthline about having a test;
  • Wearing masks or face coverings on public transport;
  • Turning on Bluetooth tracing in the NZ COVID Tracer app and scanning QR codes to keep a private digital diary. Doing both will ensure early warning if there has been exposure to COVID-19;
  • Self-isolating, calling Healthline and getting tested for COVID-19 if you have attended a location of interest.  (external link)

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