Tag Archives: Auckland

Auckland’s seven-day coronavirus lockdown turns into the Australia-New Zealand series T20 | Instant News

Australia’s men’s T20 match against New Zealand in Auckland has shifted on coronavirus fears, with Wellington hosting their next two matches behind closed doors.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) rushed to change a five-game draw on Saturday, as the country raised its COVID-19 alert level.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland will be locked for seven days from Sunday morning.

Ms Ardern on Saturday night raised Auckland’s alert level to three – which is stopping all sport – and the entire country to level two after the remaining COVID-19 cases in Auckland.

The NZC said the change in alert status meant Australia’s next clash against the Black Caps in Wellington on March 3 would resume as scheduled but without spectators.

And the match scheduled for March 5 in Auckland has been switched to Wellington, once again without crowds.

New Zealand leads series 2-0. The fifth and final match on March 7 will remain in Tauranga as scheduled, with the NZC awaiting further government advice on the crowd at that match.

The move came as Cricket Australia expressed concern over the players and their support staff traveling to Auckland.

There have been no cases of coronavirus in Wellington or Tauranga for months.

Australian netballers will play four Constellation Cup series matches against New Zealand next week.

But because the Diamonds matches are scheduled in Christchurch and Tauranga, they can avoid Auckland until their flight back to Australia.



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Air New Zealand will try a Travel Pass digital corona virus vaccination passport for flights to Australia | Instant News

Air New Zealand has announced that it will test passport digital vaccinations on flights between Auckland and Sydney from April.

A trial of the Travel Pass application, developed by the International Air Transport Association, will allow travelers to create a ‘digital health wallet’ linked to their passport.

After they have been tested or vaccinated, labs can send that information safely to the app, which is then cross-checked against the travel requirements for the country they wish to visit.

Air New Zealand chief digital officer Jennifer Sepull compared the use of the app to “a digital health certificate that can be easily and safely shared with airlines”.

“Convincing customers that travel is, in fact, safe is one of our priorities. Using the app, customers can be sure that all passengers meet the same government health requirements that they do,” he said.

“By having a place to digitally store all your health credentials in one place, it will not only speed up the check-in process but also unlock the potential of a contactless journey.”

The airline said trials will run for three weeks after applications become available in April, and crew members and customers will be invited to join.

Air New Zealand says there is no centralized database that stores personal information about passengers, and it is shared with airlines at their discretion.

IATA said the app will also provide information on government health and entry requirements, the location of testing and vaccination centers.

In a statement, a spokesman for the federal Health Department said the government hopes to review the results of the NZ trial.

“The Australian Government supports ways to ensure the safety of the Australian community through efficient collection and verification of traveler data while adhering to strict privacy requirements,” the spokesman said.

Earlier this month, Government Services Minister Stuart Robert said the federal government was involved in the World Health Organization’s working group on passport vaccinations and with other governments to ensure interoperability.

He said there were four main competitors working on vaccination passports, including the Travel Pass, an app by IBM, and the Health Pass by American company Clear, which are used at airports across the United States.

The government has announced that Australians can do it access the COVID-19 vaccination records on their mobile, which will be recorded on the national immunization register and then available on the MyGov website or through the Medicare app.

In November, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the company was looking into options for a digital health ticket, and require passengers to prove that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding a flight to or from Australia.


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Covid 19 coronavirus: National wants MIQ to be moved outside of downtown Auckland | Instant News

Rydges Hotel is one of the Auckland CBD hotels that is used as a Covid-19 MIQ facility. Photo / Dean Purcell

National is calling on the Government to move the Covid-19 quarantine and manage isolation facilities from downtown Auckland as a way to protect New Zealand’s largest city from a future lockdown.

Chris Bishop, party spokesman for the Covid-19 response, said this could be in the form of a purpose-built facility on the outskirts of Auckland.

There are currently 5,583 people in managed isolation facilities and 76 in quarantine, many of which are housed in facilities within Auckland’s CBD.

The downtown hotels currently used for MIQ are Pullman, Stamford Plaza, Rydges, M Social, and Grand Millennium.

National Party spokesman for the Covid-19 response, Chris Bishop.  Photo / NZME
National Party spokesman for the Covid-19 response, Chris Bishop. Photo / NZME

“The recent Pullman hotel case shows how much risk Auckland is from another community outbreak due to ingrained problems with MIQ,” Bishop said.

“New Zealand can’t afford to let yo-yoing in and out of lockdown and the Auckland economy can’t afford to continue bleeding more than $ 30 million a day.”

Bishop said the Victorian government is currently planning a cabin-style hub outside Melbourne’s CBD to replace its MIQ hotel following a recent outbreak that led to a lockdown.

“This facility will likely be a village with a pre-built one-story building with a separate ventilation system for each room. The returnees share the facilities but do not have the same roof,” he said.

The Pullman Hotel is one of the hotels in the city center that is used as a Covid-19 MIQ facility related to the recent Covid community outbreak.  Photo / Dean Purcell.
The Pullman Hotel is one of the hotels in the city center that is used as a Covid-19 MIQ facility related to the recent Covid community outbreak. Photo / Dean Purcell.

“Having plenty of fresh air reduces the risk of airborne transmission among returnees, while an isolated location makes it harder for the virus to find its way to densely populated urban areas where it can spread more quickly.”

National believes a similar facility should be built on vacant lots near Auckland Airport, Bishop said and called for an investigation to begin immediately.

These costs can be covered by contributions from the Government, the private sector and payments made by returning New Zealand residents.

“A purpose-built facility may prove expensive but the costs will be reduced due to the economic impact which makes Auckland more locked up,” Bishop said.

“The government must act now to address the problem before the Covid-19 outbreak forces another lockdown. We have more than enough wake-up calls.”

University of Otago Public Health professors Nick Wilson and Michael Baker have called for the closure of the MIQ facility in Auckland “to protect major economic centers” and eliminate the use of shared space at the facility.

“It is clear that New Zealand will need MIQ facilities for some time to come with mass vaccination not possible until the end of the year,” Bishop said.

“We have done well to prevent Covid-19 from spreading, but it will come at a price. Maintaining this effort will require innovative thinking, especially as the virus mutates.

Bishop said if done right, the new facility could be turned into housing once it has served its original purpose.


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To build up PM Scott Morrison’s public trust, medics took pictures of Pfizer | Instant News

Australia’s Covid-19 vaccination program starts on Sunday, with the Prime Minister Scott Morrison join a group of nursing home residents and staff to take the first shot.

Morrison and the country’s chief medical officer and nurse were among a small group to receive the first Pfizer / BioNTech injection to help build public confidence in program safety.

The wider rollout will begin on Monday, with Australia prioritizing hotel quarantine and border workers, front-line health care workers and nursing home residents and staff.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said on February 15 that Australia’s first vaccine had arrived, when more than 142,000 doses of Pfizer / BioNTech injections landed at Sydney airport.

It is hoped that a larger portion of the dose given in Australia will come from the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is produced onshore by CSL Ltd. based in Melbourne.

Separately, the health department said “Green Zone” flights to Australia from New Zealand could resume on Sunday. The situation in New Zealand has now improved after flights were suspended due to a case of community transmission of Covid-19 in Auckland.

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New Zealand’s largest vaccine launch in history begins today to eliminate Covid-19 | 1 NEWS | Instant News

New Zealand’s biggest move in eradicating Covid-19 has come a day early, with the country’s first vaccinations taking place today.

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Starting tomorrow, the group will begin vaccinating 12,000 state border workers. Source: Breakfast

A hundred vaccinators will be injected this morning before continuing to vaccinate border workers starting tomorrow.

Twelve thousand border workers are in the first batch, who will be vaccinated over the next few months.

It comes as trials are taking place in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to prepare for the biggest vaccine launch in our history.

The government has also ordered extra doses to ensure adequate amounts if something goes wrong, such as the bottle being dropped.

Not everyone is interested in getting a Covid-19 shot, with fewer than two in five Kiwis saying they will be vaccinated.

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University of Auckland vaccinator Helen Petousis-Harris provides her thoughts. Source: Seven Sharp

New data shows 16 percent of about 500 New Zealanders surveyed will refuse vaccination, while 38 percent will get it “as soon as possible”.

Forty-six percent will get it but not right away.

It comes alongside Ministry of Health research which reveals that Māori and Pasifika are less likely to get vaccinated.

“They are concerned about the leadership provided by the Government, but they also want to see people who look like they are talking to them about what it means to keep themselves safe and to keep our entire community safe,” Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio said.

National and regional meetings are being planned for the Pacific community on vaccines, while plans targeted for Māori will be released soon.


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