There are no cases of COVID-19 to report in the community in New Zealand today.
There are four cases of COVID-19 to report related to recent returnees in managed isolation facilities, since the Ministry’s last update yesterday.
Five previously reported cases have now recovered and the number of active cases in New Zealand is 42.
Three previously reported cases, from 26 June and 3 July, have now been deemed as historical.
Since 1 January 2021, there have been 93 historical cases, out of a total of 618 cases.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases detected at the border is four.
Our total number of confirmed cases is 2,434.
New border cases in New Zealand
Positive test day/reason
Managed isolation/quarantine location
Day 5/contact of a case
Day 1/routine test
Day 1/routine test
United States of America
Day 0/routine test
*These three cases are deemed to be historical.
Both the 3 July cases are in a travel bubble together.
Update on the Viking Bay
Last night, one of the remaining five crew members aboard the Viking Bay quarantined fishing vessel became unwell and, out of an abundance of caution, the individual was transferred to an on-shore quarantine facility in Wellington.
The transfer of the crew member was done with the appropriate precautions in place and following advice from the local regional public health service. The crew member had previously returned a negative test result, and a further test will be taken today with the result expected late today.
Sixteen crew have now been transferred to an onshore quarantine facility.
The four remaining crew members aboard the Viking Bay, who have returned negative test results to date, are expected to undergo COVID-19 testing as per the normal sequence for close contacts of a case. These crew will have a day-0 test, a day-five test, followed by a day-12 test during their 14 days of isolation.
The vessel’s owner and agent provided a dispensation to the vessel to have only four crew on board to meet minimum safety requirements. Contingency planning is underway for any further changes in crew numbers. Port authorities, and the shipping agent, advise the Ministry that ongoing maintenance of the vessel will be undertaken while it is berthed in Wellington. The required maintenance does not require anyone to go onboard.
The Ministry of Health can confirm that whole genome sequencing from 12 of the crew aboard the Viking Bay shows they all have the Delta variant of COVID-19.
These 12 results demonstrate that the variants are all linked, though these cases are not genomically linked to the first case on the vessel, which also had the Delta variant. None of the current cases are linked to any other confirmed cases in New Zealand.
Source inquiries will be undertaken, however the finding around the Delta variant is not unexpected. It reinforces the importance of the precautions taken in transferring crew to the quarantine facility in Wellington.
MBIE advise that the Viking Bay mariners are on separate floors, and have their own fresh air and smoking areas, and a separate lift to move in while at the quarantine facility. These mariners are also in rooms by themselves and are expected to follow strict Infection Prevention and Control protocols developed by the Ministry of Health to manage the risks of spreading COVID-19.
Update on the Playa Zahara
The All of Government response confirmed the Spanish flagged shipping vessel the Playa Zahara applied for permission for a change of crew at Port Taranaki.
There have been reports of a flu-like illness on board, however as of 10am this morning, all but one of the crew members were no longer symptomatic.
Testing of the ship’s crew members by health authorities has been conducted and the ship is now based offshore, awaiting results. Further public health measures will be decided based on those results.
The one crew member who remains symptomatic has returned an indeterminate result and will therefore remain under investigation.
If the results show there is no evidence of COVID-19 onboard, then the vessel will be granted pratique for a crew change.
Health authorities have assessed this situation as having a low risk to public health.
Travel from New South Wales
Quarantine-free travel from New South Wales (NSW) remains paused and managed return flights from Sydney are in place. All travellers on these flights will have to go into managed isolation for 14 days when they arrive in New Zealand. Because of this, travellers from NSW are not required to have a pre-departure test before flying.
Travellers who have been in NSW on or after 10.30pm on 26 June are not permitted to travel back to New Zealand from other parts of Australia. Travel histories will be checked at the airport before flying.
Information about priorities for return flights from NSW and access to managed isolation facilities has been published by United Against COVID-19.
Travellers from all other parts of Australia – who haven’t been in NSW since 26 June – must have returned a negative pre-departure test to be allowed to enter New Zealand. All travellers must complete a travel declaration.
The total number of COVID-19 tests processed by laboratories to date is 2,372,793.
Yesterday 6,945 tests were processed across New Zealand.
The seven-day rolling average is 6,728.
For all testing locations nationwide visit the Healthpoint website.
The daily testing data today includes the number of tests processed by Waikato Laboratory, as systems affected by the cyber attack are now restored. The Waikato testing data from 11 June to 12 July has now been added to the overall total and included in the weekly average – as the tests for this period were uploaded this week.
There were 8,403 tests completed in Waikato from 11 June to 12 July. This represents around two thirds of the number of tests done since the cyber attack on 17 May. The outstanding test results are expected to be uploaded within the next few weeks.
NZ COVID Tracer
NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,895,665 registered users.
Poster scans have reached 304,950,653 and users have created 11,885,465 manual diary entries.
There have been 654,100 scans in the past 24 hours to midday yesterday.