West Indies cricket team flout quarantine rules; one new case

The West Indies men's cricket team are staying in the managed isolation facility at the Chateau...
The West Indies men's cricket team are staying in the managed isolation facility at the Chateau on the Park in Christchurch. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon
All members of the West Indies men's cricket team will now be denied further training privileges after breaking managed isolation rules inside their Christchurch facility, the Ministry of Health says.

The team, in New Zealand for a tour, is in the managed isolation facility at the Chateau on the Park in Christchurch.

The first match, between the West Indies and the Black Caps, is scheduled for November 27. The first T20 is scheduled for Eden Park on November 27, followed by two matches in Mt Maunganui.

The NZ tour was approved subject to the final Covid-19 medical protocols being approved by the CWI Medical Advisory Committee and regional government health and aviation officials.

"Following an investigation, members of the team were confirmed to have repeatedly broken managed isolation rules. Many of these incidents have been captured on CCTV and have also been reported by staff. The incidents include groups mingling and sharing food. It's important to note that all incidents occurred within the hotel facility and there is no risk to the public," the ministry of health said.

"As with other sports teams that have come to New Zealand, the West Indies cricket team were given certain exemptions from the managed isolation rules which apply to everyone else. This included being able to be in larger bubbles and train in preparation for their international games," director general of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.

"It is a privilege to come here but in return they have to stick to the rules. Keeping Covid--19 out of our communities and keeping our staff safe depends on it. They didn't do that, despite agreeing to abide by the parameters of the exemption.

It comes as the ministry revealed one new Covid case in managed isolation.

Today's case arrived on 3 November from Romania via Qatar and Australia. They are a family member of a previous case from managed isolation and had already been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

NZ Cricket said it found out yesterday that some members of the West Indies team had "contravened protocols" within the managed isolation facility in Christchurch.

"These incidents included some players compromising bubble integrity by sharing food, and socialising in hallways,' NZC said.

'There is no evidence, or suggestion, that any members of the touring party left the facility, or that any unauthorised persons accessed it.'

However, NZC said it supported the Ministry of Health and Government's decision to revoke the team's exemptions.

"Public health and safety has always been our primary focus in hosting overseas teams and this remains our No.1 priority."

The West Indies squad had their final Covid-19 tests today and, results permitting, was scheduled to leave managed isolation on Friday.

The original plan was for the squad to travel to Queenstown ahead of two warm-up matches against New Zealand A.

Who will be first in line for the Pfizer vaccine?
Vulnerable people and frontline Covid-19 workers including border and healthcare staff will likely be the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine when it becomes available.

People more susceptible to Covid-19 include older communities as well as Māori and Pasifika, Research Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods says.

The Health Ministry was still working through the details, but Woods said there would be three priority groups: those at risk of spreading Covid, those at risk of contracting Covid, and those with increased risk of increased mortality and morbidity with Covid.

Frontline Covid-response workers fit the first category, Woods said.

"And we know in New Zealand, Māori and Pasifika identify with many of those indicators that fit into that [latter] category.

"Equity of access according to need is going to be incredibly important work in the immunisation strategy












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