Wellington Scoop

Lockdown considered for Wellington, after tourist from Sydney tests positive

The Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said this morning that health authorities were considering a possible lockdown in Wellington after a visitor from Australia tested positive for Covid-19.

Dr Bloomfield told RNZ’s Morning Report that it was one option being looked at. “Everything is on the table,” he said. Later in the day, Level 2 was announced for Wellington, the Kapiti Coast and the Wairarapa.

The Australian Covid-19 case came to Wellington from Sydney with his partner. Four close contacts are now isolating for 14 days. Their initial covid tests are negative.

The Sydney couple visited Te Papa and Jack Hackett’s Pub on Dixon Street on Saturday, and stayed at Rydges Hotel in Featherston Street.

Te Papa has been closed today after being identified as a location of interest. It will stay closed tomorrow.

Anyone who went to the surrealist exhibition at Te Papa between 4 and 5:45pm on Saturday must now isolate/quarantine for 14 days. The same advice is being given to anyone who was at Jack Hackett’s between 8.45 and midnight on Saturday.

Because of this situation, Te Papa staff who were working at the exhibition during that time will have to stay home for 14 days, as will staff at the pub and staff at Rydges.

Health authorities have released a list of places of interest, where Wellingtonians may have been contacts of the infected tourist.

The list initially named six places.

It has now been expanded to include a total of 16 more venues including Floriditas (Saturday lunch diners need to isolate for 14 days), Highwater Eatery (Saturday dinner guests need to isolate for 14 days), the Lido (Sunday lunch guests need to isolate for 14 days), One Red Dog (Sunday evening diners need to isolate for 14 days), and Unity Books (Sunday afternoon customers between 1.50 and 3.05 need to stay at home and get a test around day 5).

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

Passengers in New Zealand who flew on the following flights should also immediately isolate at their home or accommodation, and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on testing and isolating:
· Sydney to Wellington – QF163 (Qantas): Departed Sydney Friday 18 June 7:05pm (AEST), arrived Wellington Saturday 19 June 00:12am (NZST).
· Wellington to Sydney – NZ247 (Air New Zealand): departed Wellington Monday 21 June 10:13am (NZST), arrived Sydney Monday 21 June 11:33am (AEST).

Australian health authorities will be contacting those on the return flight to Sydney to provide advice about testing and isolation.

Public health officials have said that based on the time of their symptom onset and CT score, it is most likely the visitor contracted the virus in Sydney prior to his visit to New Zealand. Genome sequencing is underway in Australia to see if the case is linked to the current outbreak in Sydney.

The Health Ministry reminds everyone to please remain vigilant and stick to the basics: stay home if unwell and get advice about having a test, wash hands regularly, cough and sneeze into the elbow, wear masks or face coverings on all public transport, and keep track of where you’ve been – scan QR codes wherever you go and turn on Bluetooth tracing in the app dashboard.


  1. Traveller, 23. June 2021, 9:13

    Have Te Papa staff been vaccinated? As tourists return, they are all front line workers.

  2. Andrew Chen, 23. June 2021, 9:18

    I am once again, asking you to please scan in and use NZ COVID Tracer. The best time to start using it is 14 days ago, the next best time to start using it is now. [via twitter]

  3. Rebecca McMillan, 23. June 2021, 9:21

    I survived a ten hour flight and two weeks in MIQ with two little people, to return home to utopia. Really hope I don’t end up catching Covid at Moore Wilson’s. [via twitter]

  4. Rob Suisted, 23. June 2021, 9:22

    Hey Wellington, get your scanning/mask game on ASAP, & question people not doing same. The delta strain is very potent, and we don’t want a lockdown. Bring our covidnz ‘A’ game! [via twitter]

  5. Claire, 23. June 2021, 9:28

    The Trans Tasman bubble should not have been opened till the the majority of us were vaccinated. How many times has it been paused? But there was a massive call for it by business, let’s hope it was worth it.

  6. Mauricio Guerchmann Freitas, 23. June 2021, 9:39

    You can’t have a travel bubble and not react immediately. You can’t have a travel bubble and not scan the QR codes. You can’t have a travel bubble with low vaccination rates. Time to pause this “bubble” for longer than 72 hours. [via twitter]

  7. 2Tapu, 23. June 2021, 9:42

    Just told my team to work from home. One is turning around and heading home. One is very high risk & will WFH all week now. We have a big hui where we are expecting 3000 people this evening. But we made it a virtual one from the start so it’s all good. COVID-19. You suck. But you won’t stop us. [via twitter]

  8. Paola Brett, 23. June 2021, 9:45

    Went into a shop in Featherston St and he had no QR code, he had a list we could write in but no pen … we did manual entry on our COVID tracer app and you could feel the eye roll as we did. [via twitter]

  9. David Hood, 23. June 2021, 9:48

    Don’t just scan (because most of the people who read me understand scanning), scan in a manner public enough that others around take the hint. Scan in a manner to remind those for whom it is not a habit. [via twitter]

  10. Asher Wilson-Goldman, 23. June 2021, 10:09

    My first time as a ‘casual plus’ contact, as I was at Te Papa (but not the Surrealist exhibition) on Saturday. Thankfully I’m already fully vaccinated and am a compulsive user of the NZ COVID-19 Tracer app. The museum was pretty busy on Saturday, this will hit a lot of people. [via twitter]

  11. Patrick Crewdson, 23. June 2021, 10:23

    Te Papa on a wet Wellington weekend (aka the number one destination for frazzled parents) – I hate to think how many people could potentially have been exposed. [via twitter]

  12. Don M, 23. June 2021, 11:30

    We have six locations of interest identified by MoH for Saturday. But what about Sunday or did they stay in their hotel room all day Sunday, which seems unlikely? MoH need to get onto this quickly and the information out straight away, instead of procrastinating.