News More negative COVID tests in New Zealand, subduing fears of a fresh outbreak or lockdown

More negative COVID tests in New Zealand, subduing fears of a fresh outbreak or lockdown

The New Zealand travel bubble has been paused for 72 hours. Photo: ABC
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Almost 48 hours on from the first report of a new community case of COVID-19 in New Zealand, there are still no signs the infected woman has passed on the virus.

On Tuesday morning, COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed 14 close contacts of New Zealand’s first community case in two months had all tested negative.

Those tests are on top of the woman’s husband and hairdresser also testing negative on Monday.

“Pretty encouraging news to start the day,” Mr Hipkins Tweeted.

While Australia has rushed to reinstate quarantine measures for international arrivals from NZ in the wake of the case, NZ itself has yet to put any restrictions on local travel.

The infected woman, a 56-year-old from Northland who spent time in Spain and the Netherlands, has been in isolation since her positive test on the weekend.

Health officials believe she contracted the virus from another infected person during her mandatory 14-day stay in isolation.

The NZ government has published a list of around 30 venues where she travelled during her time between release from hotel quarantine and her positive test, all in the Northland region.

Those businesses are being deep cleaned, while locals have also rushed to testing stations.

Radio NZ reports the queues of cars outside a testing station at Marsden Point is more than a kilometre long, while other reports suggest a wait time of more than seven hours.

The new community case – the first since November – is the South African strain, a more contagious variant of the virus.