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The former head of the Canterbury District Health Board described himself as “miserable” after contracting the virus, apparently last weekend.
Meates, who entered the mayoral race in late June, had previously managed to avoid Covid, in spite of spending nine months in the UK as a health-related consultant.
His visit started with the UK being in lockdown, while last December “they essentially got rid of all controls”.
Meates, who has until next Friday to lodge a formal nomination for the mayoralty, is one of three hopefuls vying to succeed Lianne Dalziel.
Burwood Ward city councillor Phil Mauger lodged his nomination last week, joining fellow independent candidate, pastor Carl Bromley. The Wizard of New Zealand has also expressed interest in standing.