Australian traveller tests positive for COVID-19

Media release

23 June 2021

An Australian traveller from Sydney, who visited Wellington from Saturday 19 June until Monday 21 June, has tested positive for COVID-19 upon their return to Australia.

Based on the time of their symptom onset and CT score it is most likely they contracted the virus in Sydney prior to their visit to New Zealand.

Genome sequencing is underway in Australia to see if the case is linked to the current outbreak in Sydney.

This is the first time an Australian traveller has brought COVID-19 to NZ, and since gone home.

New Zealand authorities were notified by their Australian counterparts Tuesday evening and the established processes of contacting the case’s close contacts and getting further information about their movements while in Wellington was initiated.

At this stage four close contacts have been identified and are isolating. Sites of interest that were visited will be advised as further contact tracing is undertaken. People who have been at these sites will need to isolate and should contact Healthline for further advice.

Passengers who flew on the following flights must 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).

The Ministry’s contact tracing team has been in touch with the airlines about contacting passengers on these flights to provide advice.

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

The 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.