Christchurch couple among many to get Covid tests after Wellington trip

Brent and Bing Hobbs were among the many people who turned up to a Covid-19 testing station in Christchurch yesterday – and they had good reason to.

The couple spent the weekend in Wellington, and shopped at the same supermarket as the Sydney tourist who has sparked a major Covid scare in New Zealand.

“Work said get down there,” Brent Hobbs told The Star at the Harewood testing station.

Hobbs said he and his wife had become alarmed after realising they had been at the same location as the infected man.

“It’s unbelievable, is what we thought,” he said.

Brent and Bing Hobbs wait to take their Covid-19 tests yesterday after a weekend spent in...
Brent and Bing Hobbs wait to take their Covid-19 tests yesterday after a weekend spent in Wellington. Photo: Geoff Sloan
The couple are now self isolating and have been told they will get their test results back within 24 to 48 hours.

The Wellington region, including Wairarapa and Kapiti Coast, moved to alert level 2 last night and will remain there until 11.59pm Sunday.

Up to 2500 people visited Te Papa around the time the Sydney tourist attended, the museum has revealed.

Te Papa is among 16 locations of interest released by health authorities yesterday.

The rest of the country remains at alert level 1.

Hobbs believed the idea of a quarantine-free transtasman travel bubble was reasonable.

“We’ve still got to live,” he said.

“It was a good idea while it lasted but there are things that can go wrong.”

Cars queue on Orchard Rd outside the Covid testing station. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Cars queue on Orchard Rd outside the Covid testing station. Photo: Geoff Sloan
He believed the Government was handling the situation well, he said.

Testing centre service manager Karyn Bainbridge said more people than usual were taking the test.

“We’ve probably done 150 (on Wednesday). It would normally be 60-80.”

“It’s definitely busier.”

Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the case was a reminder of the need to use the Covid tracer app and have the Bluetooth function turned on.

The Covid testing station on Orchard Rd. Photo: Geoff Sloan
The Covid testing station on Orchard Rd. Photo: Geoff Sloan
If people had been in the Wellington region over the weekend, they needed to take the alert level restrictions with them, he said.

If someone had been in Wellington over the weekend but was now in Christchurch, for example, they should not go to big gatherings, he said.

Contract tracers are tracking down 58 passengers who were on the Sydney flight the man took.

The people on that flight were close contacts and required to isolate for 14 days and take a day five and day 12 test.

-By Fiona Ellis

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