Sydney man who visited Wellington had Delta variant

The positive Covid-19 case that travelled to Wellington from Sydney was last night confirmed as having the highly contagious Delta Covid-19 variant.

‘‘The confirmed case that travelled to New Zealand is linked to the Bondi cluster, which has been confirmed as the Delta Covid-19 variant,’’ a New South Wales Health spokeman said.

There have been no positive cases in New Zealand linked to the case, which has put the Wellington region into Alert level 2 until 11.59pm tomorrow.

Four close contacts of the man, who visited many places around Wellington last weekend, returned negative results on Thursday.

The Cabinet will meet tomorrow morning to decide whether the Wellington level should be changed.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield have provided an update on the Wellington scare.

Dr Bloomfield reiterated anyone around the country who was at any of the locations of interest at the relevant times or who had symptoms should be tested.

So far, of the 1752 contacts, 532 have returned a negative result, eight have returned overseas and 1212 people are awaiting a test result.

The Hutt Valley and Capital and Coast District Health Boards tested 3713 people on Thursday, up from 2100 on Wednesday.

Mr Hipkins would not predict whether Cabinet would decide to extend Level 2.

The continued spread of the virus in Australian states prompted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to cancel her planned trade and business trip across the Tasman.

The pause on the bubble between New Zealand and New South Wales was extended a further 12 days on Thursday night.

Mr Hipkins said yesterday ‘‘a very close watch’’ was being kept on developments in Australia, and further restrictions and requirements for travellers from other states were being considered.

NSW reported 22 new cases yesterday and ordered people who live in or have worked in four Sydney local government areas in the past two weeks, to be locked down from 11.59pm (NSW time) yesterday.

Queensland also reported two new cases, both linked to a cluster stemming from a quarantine hotel leak last weekend.

Melbourne reported two new cases on Thursday but none yesterday.

The Health Ministry is assuring New Zealanders the new Covid-19 vaccination booking system will not be hacked.

Deputy director-general of data and digital Shayne Hunter and national digital services group manager Michael Dreyer debuted the system yesterday.

It was announced bookings could be made from July 28, initially for those 60 years old or older.

Mr Hunter said the $3 million system had been rigorously tested and he was confident it was secure.

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