Ministry tracers search for 13 travellers from Victoria

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Ministry of Health is searching for 13 people who have returned to Aotearoa from Melbourne within the past two weeks.

The Australian state of Victoria plunged into a seven-day lockdown at 11.59pm on Thursday, May 27, after health authorities identified more than 10,000 people connected to positive coronavirus cases.

New Zealand's Ministry of Health says it has contacted all but 13 of the 4,539 people who flew from Melbourne Airport in Victoria back to New Zealand between May 20-25.

The remaining 13 people have been referred to the ministry's people-finding services.

Victoria in lockdown

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Covid-19 cases impacting Victoria is felt here in Aotearoa.

She says, "I want to acknowledge the people of Victoria and just say, everyone in New Zealand is thinking of you at this time. We've had our fair share of challenges and we understand what it's like when you reach another hurdle. But we have absolute faith that it is a hurdle you will come out the other side of. And we look forward to welcoming back you back on our shores again soon." 

Anyone who has been in Victoria since May 11 is advised to keep checking the Victoria government website for locations of interests. Locations of interest can be found here.

And if they have been at a location of interest, they should call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice.

Covid-19 testing

All of the travellers are being instructed to get a Covid-19 test and self-isolate at home or in the accommodation they are staying in until they have a negative result.

So far, 2,237 travellers and 178 aircrew have been tested and have returned negative results. The remaining 2,302 test results are expected to be received later today.

The ministry says not everyone in this group will be tested in New Zealand as some are infants and others have already returned to Australia.

Travellers are not allowed to return to Melbourne until they have returned a negative Covid-19 test result.

For testing locations in Auckland, visit Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) here.

And for testing locations nationwide visit the Healthpoint website here.