Melbourne travellers required to self-isolate
Anyone who travelled from Melbourne between May 20 and 25 is being urged to self-isolate.
This is the advice from the Ministry of Health following last night’s announcement that New Zealand is pausing Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria until Friday, June 4.
The announcement comes following a seven day lockdown announcement amid a Covid outbreak in the Australian region.
The Ministry’s contact tracing team has emailed around 5000 people who had travelled from Melbourne during the above time.
The email instructed them to get a test and self-isolate at home or in the accommodation they are staying in until they have a negative result.
It also instructed them to contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if they need further advice or to report if they had been at a location of interest.
About 500 of those 5000 people were unable to be reached by email and are being followed up with phone calls and texts, says the MOH.
This follows contact tracers previously contacting everyone who returned to New Zealand from Melbourne since May 11 and providing advice on checking locations of interest and other actions required.
The Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield is now requiring everyone who has visited the Greater Melbourne area since May 20 to isolate at their place of residence until they receive a negative Covid-19 test result.
“This is an additional precaution. The number of locations of interest around Melbourne has grown substantially, making it difficult for visitors to easily keep track.
“It is critically important everyone keeps a record of where they have been by scanning QR codes or keeping a manual diary of their movements.
“It can help contact tracers quickly find potential close and casual contacts if there is a positive Covid-19 case in New Zealand.
“Please note, the reference to 34 active cases in Victoria yesterday included eight cases in managed isolation facilities, as well as 26 cases in the community.”
The order to self-isolate is being made under Section 70 under the Health Act and includes both symptomatic and asymptomatic people.
The Section 70 notice can be found here: Direction under section 70 of the Health Act 1956 - 4pm 27 May 2021 (PDF, 438 KB)
The Ministry of Health recommends travellers from Melbourne call ahead to their testing provider to inform them they need to be tested under Section 70.
“This is to help testing providers manage demands on community testing stations. It also notifies providers not to charge as regardless of whether or not people are symptomatic, testing is free for those affected by the Section 70 notice,” says the MOH.
“This includes for visitors to New Zealand.
“Auckland public health officials are reporting an increase in demand for testing today. But they advise they have adequate testing capacity across the city, and are ready and able to scale up if demand significantly increases.”
For testing locations in Auckland, visit Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS). For all testing locations nationwide visit the Healthpoint website.
Possible symptoms of variant being found in Melbourne:
The variant of Covid-19 being found in Melbourne is the B.1.617.1 variant which was first reported in India. It is considered more infectious than the original variant.
The typical symptoms to look out for include:
· a new or worsening cough
· fever (at least 38˚C)
· shortness of breath
· a sore throat
· sneezing and runny nose
· and temporary loss of smell.
Some people may present with atypical symptoms, with or without typical symptoms. These include new onset of:
· myalgia (muscle pain)
· or confusion/irritability.