Around 10 COVID-19 border cases a day over last three days

Media release

10 January 2021

There has been an average of around 10 new and historical cases of COVID-19 at the border, per day, since our last media statement on Thursday.

There are no new cases in the community.

During the past three days there has been a total of 31 cases identified.

The number of cases reinforces the need for ongoing vigilance at the border, as COVID-19 continues to accelerate overseas.

Of the new border cases:

26 December

  • One case arrived from India via the UAE and tested positive during routine testing around day 12. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.

28 December

  • Two cases arrived on 28 December and tested positive during routine testing around day 12. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.

29 December

  • One case arrived from the UK via the UAE and tested positive on day 10 as they were in a bubble with a case. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.
  • One case arrived and tested positive during routine testing around day 12. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.
  • One case arrived from the UK via the UAE and tested positive during routine testing around day 12. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.

3 January

  • One case arrived from India via the UAE and tested positive on day six as they were a contact of a case. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.
  • One case arrived from Zimbabwe via the UAE and tested positive on day 7 as a contact of a case. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.
  • One case arrived from India via the UAE and tested positive on day 6 as a contact of a case. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.
  • One case arrived from Austria via the UAE and tested positive during routine testing on day 3. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.
  • One case arrived from Russia via the UAE and tested positive during routine testing on day 3. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.
  • One case arrived from Zimbabwe via the UAE and tested positive during routine testing on day 3. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.
  • One case arrived and tested positive during routine testing on day 3. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.
  • One case arrived and tested positive during routine testing on day 3. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.

4 January

One case arrived from the UK via Singapore and tested positive during routine testing on day 3. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Hamilton.

One case arrived from Poland via Germany and Singapore and tested positive during routine testing around day 3. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Hamilton.

One case arrived from the USA and tested positive around day 5 and was transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.

5 January

  • One case arrived and tested positive during routine testing around day 3. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.

6 January

  • Three cases arrived from the Ukraine via Russia and Singapore and tested positive on arrival. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Christchurch.
  • Eight cases arrived from Russia via Singapore and tested positive on arrival. They have now been classified as historical cases. They were transferred to a quarantine facility in Christchurch.

More details under ‘International mariners’ below.

7 January

  • One case arrived from the USA and tested positive on arrival and was transferred to a quarantine facility in Christchurch.
  • One case arrived and tested positive on day 2. This person was transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.

18 cases have now recovered over the past three days and the total number of active cases in New Zealand is now 75. Our total number of confirmed cases is 1,863.

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date to 1,438,446.

International mariners

The 11 cases which arrived on 6 January are from a group of international mariners. Only three of these cases have been identified as current cases, while the majority (eight) have been identified as historical cases.

A total of 190 mariners arrived on Wednesday and are staying at managed isolation and quarantine facilities in Christchurch.

A number of mariners were not able to board flights to New Zealand after testing positive during pre-departure testing.

The managed isolation and quarantine facilities have strengthened procedures and protocols to ensure the risk to others in the group and in the facilities is reduced.

COVID-19 variants

All positive COVID-19 tests in New Zealand are sent to ESR for whole genome sequencing as part of our overall elimination strategy.

Since 13 December, whole genome sequencing has identified a total of 19 cases of COVID-19 at the border with the UK variant known as 20B/501Y.V1 (lineage B1.1.7) and one case with the variant first identified in South Africa (501Y.V2)

Most of these people have come into New Zealand from the UK, via the UAE, Qatar or Singapore.

These people are all cared for with the same high level of infection prevention measures as all COVID-19 positive cases, with daily health checks and use of PPE. Infection prevention control protocols are in place for all staff and we can assure the public that there is no increased risk to the community.

The Ministry of Health continues to monitor overseas developments very closely through the holiday period.

NZ COVID Tracer

NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,435,400 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 150,344,922 and users have now created more than 6,067,898 manual diary entries.

Make summer unstoppable and continue to scan, scan, scan.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues around the globe we need to remain vigilant so we can continue to enjoy the conditions which we are lucky enough to be living under today.

It’s important to use the COVID Tracer app to scan QR codes and turn on Bluetooth functionality. Turning on Bluetooth functionality will allow you to receive an alert if you have been near another app user who tests positive for COVID-19.

Also remember to stay home if you are unwell, maintain stringent hygiene practices, including washing and drying your hands and cough or sneeze into your elbow.

Media contact

Blair Cunningham 

021 195 3978