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, 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, 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.



Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter