More Auckland flights heading South

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
Multiple flights from Auckland will arrive in Otago and Southland today despite Level 3 Covid restrictions being in place in the city.

New Zealand had gone 102 days without community transmission of the virus until news of new Auckland cases were announced earlier this week. The rest of the country is currently at alert level 2.

Four flights have already touched down in Queenstown this morning - with a total of 12 scheduled for the day.

In Dunedin, two Air New Zealand and one Jetstar flights are due to arrive and in Invercargill one inbound flight from Auckland is scheduled.

A reporter at Queenstown Airport said arrival numbers were small but the airport was "quite busy" with departures.

A passenger on a Jetstar flight said he was the "only one on the plane".  He was returning home and had been in Auckland on business.

A second flight, an Air New Zealand one, had approximately 10 passengers on board, he said.

SAFETY MEASURES 

Airlines have made it mandatory for passengers leaving Auckland to wear face masks.

Queenstown Airport chief executive Colin Keel said yesterday that robust plans would ensure the airport could respond at short notice to changes in alert levels.

"We are working closely across the airport community, as we have throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure the appropriate protocols are in place and clearly communicated to the travelling public."

A cleaning and sanitisation programme at Queenstown Airport had increased in January and had continued since.

“Hand sanitiser stations are in place throughout the terminal.”

Invercargill Airport general manager Nigel Finnerty said seating had been adjusted at the terminal to reflect physical distancing requirements.

Signs had gone up reflecting the change to Alert Level 2 and cleaning of high-touch areas was intensive.

Dunedin Airport has increased cleaning at the terminal and 2m physical distancing is encouraged.

Comments

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Does not make sense. Aucklanders cannot drive out of Auckland zone, but are free to hop on a plane and take the bug right throughout NZ. Defies me how the stages have any relevance whilst this is occurring.

Stop flying Aucklanders to the South Island - simple as that. They WILL bring the virus to the South Island. Does nobody have any common sense about this???

Airlines say: “They have made it mandatory for passengers leaving Auckland to wear face masks” But why are people allowed to leave Auckland by air and fly into the South Island, yet cannot leave Auckland via road without questioning? Now is NOT the time to be planning holidays! Considering this new outbreak, should we not be testing any and all who arrive from Auckland, whether North Island tourists or returning South Islanders and placing all into 2 weeks of Quarantine?

You can sanitize your airports as much as you like, but this will not make a world of difference once those people begin freely roaming the South Island. Masks may be worn on the plane and in the terminals, however I don’t imagine they stay on for long once Aucklanders are actively moving about the South Island. It only takes one infected individual to send us here in the South Island back to level 3 and beyond.
You can only imagine how justifiably wild we would so easily become, if it transpired someone from one of these flights set the contagion free here…! There is a strong whiff of incompetence lingering in the air concerning all this.

Jacinda lets them on planes, must be ok. Jacinda (or more correctly her bunch of plonkers) didn't test people working in facilities and then they go home, but Chris Hipkins says it can't be that (must be frozen peas), and well we believe EVERYTHING the government says, and we have full confidence in them. Must be ok. But yeah, lets blame those businesses who pay tax who are panicked, blame the Aucklanders - its your fault for getting the virus. Actually, I agree with you, they shouldn't be getting on planes, they need to take some responsibility. But so does the government. This team of 5 million has been let down by the government. Don't think I'm pumping up the Nets, I don't trust them. I tell you who I'd like to trust, IS YOU!!!! Get angry at this stuff up. Don't cut them any slack.

Good news, then. Tai Tokerau has Checkpoints to detain motorists running for the North.

Looks like the government really does want to follow the Swedish model. Spread it around while you can, with the vulnerable (aged) locked up to keep them safe.

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