Auckland arrivals with symptoms booking Covid tests in Queenstown

A drive through pop-up Covid-19 testing centre is being run in Queenstown today and Aucklanders with symptoms are among those getting tested.

The centre is being run by the Queenstown Medical Centre outside their establishment on Isle Street.

Medical centre chief executive Ashley Light said with a change to Alert Level 2, along with the Auckland community findings, public health have asked everyone to get a bit more aware.

"So we are just following guidelines from public health."

A pop-up Covid-19 testing centre is being run in Queenstown today. Photo: Hugh Collins
A pop-up Covid-19 testing centre is being run in Queenstown today. Photo: Hugh Collins

The centre would be testing people who had arrived from Auckland for a holiday, Mr Light said.

"They have come down for a ski holiday and they're quite rightly booking in for swabs if they have any mild symptoms and we are just meeting that need."

The pop-up didn't have a cap on how many could be tested, Mr Light said.

It will run until 5pm today. 

It comes after it emerged return of community transmission of Covid-19 in New Zealand did not dozens of Auckland holidaymakers from pouring into Queenstown Airport yesterday.

One couple said they were “conflicted” about whether they should still be going on holiday.

It was quiet at Auckland Airport, one woman said, after it was announced the city would go into Alert Level 3 lockdown.

"It felt like a ‘don’t mention it’ kind of a thing,” said the woman, who did not want to be named.

Airlines made it mandatory for passengers departing from Auckland to wear face masks.

Travelling with her partner, the woman said the pair never seriously considered cancelling a 10-day holiday in the resort.

“Our flight was before noon, so we were like, ‘if we can go, we should get out’.”

“We are not planning to go to any bars or anything like that.”

She said they would be happy to stay and isolate in Queenstown if the Auckland lockdown continued past three days.

"If the whole country goes into it, then we will have to stay longer."

Antony Ensor, who had also arrived on a flight from Auckland, said he and his partner had already had to cancel a holiday in May.

They were not worried about jetting off following the arrival of new restrictions.

“I guess we were a bit more worried about getting back home.”

Queenstown Airport chief executive Colin Keel said 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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Yeah thanks Auckland. Very public spirited of you to come down and share the love.

Can anyone explain how people can leave a area in level 3 to an area in level 2 with symptoms and then explain why this country is heading into another full lockdown because people want to go skiing

They didn't leave an area in lockdown. If you want to get annoyed at anyone, try the Government. They delayed lockdown and travel control.

It is stupid to be allowing this travel out of lockdown Stage 3 into Stage 2 lockdowns - it defeats the purpose of Stage 3 lockdowns and promotes the rapid spread of the bug throughout NZ for no real purpose, selfish people and businesses putting the whole welfare of NZers and the economies at risk for short-term gain thinking.

Yeah the ski set Dont worry about anyone else just themselves.

Should have stayed home like they have been told to but no we will go and give it to everyone else and then moan when whole country is in lockdown due to their selfishness

Even though the flight left before the lockdown commenced, Air New Zealand should have done the right thing and cancelled the flight to prevent further infection.

Is it any wonder why the rest of the country can't stand Aucklanders? This is why.

Cease all travel between Auckland (or any other cluster spot) and Queenstown immediately. What a totally irresponsible nightmare!!

These people need to stay in Auckland and the tourist agencies need to see beyond their pockets and simply refuse their business. Queenstown has its share of whingers.

Send all people who test positive back to the North Island and ban aircraft, national or international, from landing unless they are carrying the contaminated to the North Island, or bringing us essential medical supplies ... same for sea-going vesssels.

And if I'm not mistaken, there are some skifields in the North Island... they can use them and keep their Covid contaminated skiers off our pristene snow !!

Boult wanted domestic tourists. Well now he has them! Can't have it both ways. If there is an outbreak in Queenstown thank Boult. He could have shut it down but chose not to.

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