An Australian man visiting New Zealand has tested positive for coronavirus and is now self-isolating in a Wellington hotel room.

Townsville man Andre Reynaud confirmed to the Herald that he had tested positive for Covid-19 - he is the seventh case of the virus in this country and the first to be based outside Auckland.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has now confirmed Reynaud was the seventh case in New Zealand - and that an eighth case had been diagnosed in Queenstown.

Andre Reynaud, 56, travelled from Townsville to New Zealand before he was informed of his positive coronvirus test results.
Andre Reynaud, 56, travelled from Townsville to New Zealand before he was informed of his positive coronvirus test results.

Bloomfield did not identify Reynaud by name but said he arrived on Air NZ flight 828 from Brisbane to Wellington.

Advertisement

When asked if he was surprised that Reynaud was able to fly into New Zealand while awaiting the test results, Bloomfield said that he was surprised Reynaud flew at all.

"I'm surprised, I'm pretty disappointed actually," he said.

It reiterated the importance of every person showing responsibility and playing their role, Bloomfield said.

"At best, this action has inconvenienced a number of people. At worst, it may well have put people at risk.

"I think you can draw your own conclusions that it wasn't really an appropriate thing to do."

PM Jacinda Ardern announced unprecedented quarantine measures at a press conference on March 14. Video / Sylvie Whinray

Reynaud, 69, said he had returned to Townsville from France on Tuesday, March 10, and was not showing any signs of illness. He was tested by Queensland Health officials on Thursday because he had been abroad.

The next night he and his wife boarded a flight from Brisbane to Wellington.

Reynaud said he received a phone call on Saturday morning from his doctor confirming he had tested positive for coronavirus.

Advertisement

"I am currently in self-isolation in the hotel in Wellington," he told the Herald.

"I went to meet my son for breakfast at a nearby cafe when I got a call from my doctor confirming I tested positive.

"From there I went straight back to my hotel room and got in contact with health authorities.

"I wouldn't have come [to New Zealand] if I knew I was positive."

Bloomfield said he was "surprised" Reynaud took the flight in the first place, having been tested in Australia.

READ MORE:
Coronavirus: We can enforce self-isolation, Jacinda Ardern says
Coronavirus: New Zealand's sixth patient reveals he's feeling 100 per cent
Coronavirus: New Zealand a safe haven for super wealthy arriving in private jets
Coronavirus: Everyone travelling to NZ from overseas to self-isolate

The Australian had already booked a trip to New Zealand before he was tested for coronavirus.

Reynaud says he was not showing any symptoms and that he felt fine.

"I'm currently monitoring my temperature and it's not going up. I don't feel any other symptoms.

"I feel fine, but I'll be patient until I am freed. My temperature is stable. I feel well."

Reynaud told the Herald he alerted both New Zealand and Queensland health authorities immediately after the positive result.

When arriving in New Zealand on Friday night, Reynaud said he was asked by authorities only whether he had recently travelled to or from Italy, mainland China or Korea.

He says because he didn't arrive from any of those countries he was allowed to enter and then went straight to his hotel.

Following Reynaud's positive diagnosis, he says he has been well looked after by both the Ministry of Health and hotel staff.

"They have been very good. They have told us what to do. Stay in the room, monitor my temperature, they've given us the number to call if we feel unwell.

"They have called me a couple of times to check up on me.

"I'm waiting for NZ Health to call me on what to do next. I assume I'll be in isolation for 14 days.

"The hotel has been amazing letting us stay in the room. They've provided food and made us feel comfortable. We are well looked after."

The hotel, which the Herald has chosen not to identify, declined to comment.

Reynaud's wife also travelled with him and she is in self-isolation with him.

Reynaud says his wife is showing no symptoms of coronavirus and her temperature levels are normal.

Reynaud's diagnosis was also publicly confirmed by his place of work, Ann Roberts School of Dance in Townsville.

"Thanks to everyone who has messaged us to express their support and concern over Andre's diagnosis," the school said.

"We understand that some people may be worried about the further spread of Covid-19 within our school community but we can assure you we are operating on the advice of the Queensland Health Public Health Department and following all instructions given.

"None of those who were in direct contact with Andre have any symptoms and we have been assured that they are not contagious in any way."

PM: We can enforce self-isolation requirements

Meanwhile Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today that the Government and the police can enforce self-isolation.

And she says the Government's economic package, to be announced on Tuesday, will be the most significant one-off injection into the economy of her entire tenure as Prime Minister.

Yesterday Ardern announced that any person from any country, excluding the Pacific islands, is now required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival to the country, and she encouraged all New Zealanders to avoid all non-essential travel overseas.

As well as affecting thousands of people's travel plans, the move is expected to significantly impact Kiwis' jobs and New Zealand economy.

This morning Ardern sought to calm fears about whether people would self-isolate properly, saying that the 10,500 New Zealanders who had done it so far had been overly compliant, with some staying home for more than 14 days.

But she said authorities, including police, had the power to quarantine people at a medical facility and station staff at the door.

That power had not been used so far, she told TVNZ's Q+A this morning.

The Government has been constantly looking at global developments, and the new restrictions unveiled on Saturday were the next step to "go hard" to flatten the curve.

The goal was to avoid a large-scale community spread of the virus, and the new travel restrictions were about keeping pressure off the public health system as the number of positive cases rose.