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Auckland Airport border worker tests positive to coronavirus

Auckland Airport worker tests positive to Covid just a day after the trans-Tasman bubble with Australia opened

  • An Auckland Airport worker who cleans planes has tested positive to Covid
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the worker is vaccinated against the virus
  • The infection was announced one day after the trans-Tasman bubble opened

An Auckland Airport worker has tested positive to coronavirus just one day after Australians and New Zealanders resumed travel between the two countries without having to quarantine.  

New Zealand’s Ministry of Health confirmed the infection on Tuesday and said the worker had been put into isolation as contact tracing began.  

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Covid-positive case, who is fully vaccinated against the virus, was employed cleaning planes from high-risk countries.

The airport worker was regularly tested for Covid and the infection was found following a swab on Monday.  

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks at an airport in Wellington, New Zealand on Monday as the trans-Tasman bubble is opened

The worker’s most recent negative test was a week earlier on April 12.  

‘This was a border worker who did work in an environment where they were coming into contact with the planes that are used to transport people from red zones; so from high-risk countries,’ Ms Ardern said. 

On Monday, thousands crossed the Tasman Sea to enter Australia and New Zealand after the long-awaited end of mandatory quarantine.

There were 15 flights into Auckland and 17 departures. 

Under the terms of the trans-Tasman bubble agreement, all states, territories and New Zealand can suspend quarantine-free travel with places that have outbreaks. 

But the two nations have made assurances that small outbreaks won’t result in the bubble being closed.  

Pictured: Passengers lining up to check in for Qantas flight on Monday

Pictured: Passengers lining up to check in for Qantas flight on Monday

‘We accept that’s going to be part of our journey together. Australia accepts that,’ Ms Ardern said on Tuesday. 

Ms Ardern has brought in a traffic light system similar to the one used in Victoria, with specific hotspots designated as ‘red zones’ – meaning people only from that area would be unable to fly. 

Recent studies from the Centre for Disease Control showed the vaccines were anywhere between 59 per cent and 90 per cent effective at stopping asymptomatic transmission, despite being highly effective at preventing serious illness or death. 

This means a person who is fully vaccinated can still catch the virus and pass it along without noticing any symptoms. 

Mr Ardern said the isolation of close contacts of the airport worker was underway.

‘What’s really important is we knew this was someone who was tested only recently,’ the Prime Minister said. 

‘They were negative on the 12th and then their more recent test was positive. So we’ve picked them up in that routine screening which is always helpful.’

An Auckland Airport worker has tested positive to coronavirus just one day after Australians were welcomed into New Zealand without having to quarantine. Pictured: A sign welcoming travellers to New Zealand at Sydney International Airport

An Auckland Airport worker has tested positive to coronavirus just one day after Australians were welcomed into New Zealand without having to quarantine. Pictured: A sign welcoming travellers to New Zealand at Sydney International Airport

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