The first coronavirus case in the South Island is a Danish tourist aged in her 30s who had visited a Queenstown adventure attraction and restaurant before seeking medical help.
The woman had travelled from Denmark and arrived in Auckland via Doha on flight QR 920 on Tuesday March10, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield confirmed today.
She then flew from Auckland to Christchurch on Jetstar flight JQ225, arriving at 8am on March 10.
The woman travelled to Queenstown by private rental vehicle.
The woman was unwell and hospitalised for one night. She is now recovering well and has been discharged. She will recover in self-isolation and will be monitored daily by health officials.
The Otago Daily Times reported that the woman checked into a holiday park near Queenstown's town centre.
The woman's group did an adventure activity on Thursday and ate at a resort restaurant that evening, when the woman began feeling unwell.
She visited Queenstown Medical Centre's Isle St clinic, without ringing ahead, either that evening or on Friday morning and was informed of the positive test yesterday.
After the Southern District Health Board told the Queenstown Lakes District Council of the positive result, the woman and at least one companion spent Saturday night in the Queenstown Events Centre car park, where they remained until about noon today.
The woman is now believed to be in isolation in the camper van at the council's camping hub in Frankton, which has been closed to other campers.
The ODT reported that the woman ate at a second downtown restaurant on Friday, and was possibly using shared facilities at the holiday park during the three nights she stayed there.
The seventh case was an Australian man in Wellington, who came from Australia and has tested positive. He arrived at 12.05am yesterday morning from Brisbane on Air NZ flight 828.
He was self-isolating with his partner and another family member, and was symptom-free. He does not need hospital treatment.
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Contact tracing on the flights the seventh and eighth cases travelled to New Zealand on has been changed to two seats in all directions: front, back, both sides and diagonal. This is supported by current evidence and is in line with the same approach taken by European authorities.
In both instances public health staff are conducting contact tracing and requesting close contacts stay in self isolation for 14 days from the date of potential exposure.
Healthline knows the seat numbers and will be able to advise anyone on the flight, whether they are considered a close or casual contact.
The fact that these two more confirmed cases had travelled from overseas reinforced the importance of the new travel restrictions, announced yesterday, for all people coming to New Zealand to self-isolate for 14 days - which kicks in at 1am tonight.
All previous confirmed cases have now recovered or are recovering at home, Bloomfield said.
Three people have also been isolated on a cruise ship in Akaroa, and are being tested. Two of them were in close contact with a previously confirmed case, one of whom had symptoms.
All on board are not allowed off the ship until those test results are known, he said.
Bloomfield thanked the New Zealanders who had been through self-isolation in the last four to six weeks, and work is underway to "scale-up" the response as the number of people in self-isolation is expected to ramp up.
The only infections in New Zealand were within family members, he said.
Latest studies showed that people can be infectious in the early stages of getting Covid-19, he said, and the most common way of getting infected was being in repeated close contact with someone who had it.
That reinforced the importance of staying at home if you're feeling unwell, he said.
That would allow the health system to be able to cope with the number of cases as they came up, he said.
People on the same flights as the seventh and eighth cases should contact Healthline - 0800 358 5453 - to see if they were in close contact with the positive cases.
The DHB was looking at how to manage its staff, including vulnerable staff, as well as setting up community-based clinics, which should be ready by Wednesday.
Testing capacity would also be ramped up, including two shifts of staff on from tomorrow, so that testing could take place twice a day.
Australian traveller self-isolating in Wellington hotel
The news comes just hours after an Australian man visiting New Zealand revealed he 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 would be the seventh case of the virus in this country, and the first to be based outside Auckland.
Reynaud said he had returned to Townsville from France on Tuesday, March 10, and had not been 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.
"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.
The 56-year-old 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."
Cruise ship quarantined at Akaroa
A cruise ship is being held off the coast of New Zealand with at least one suspected case of coronavirus on board.
Three passengers on the Golden Princess have been quarantined by the ship's doctor.
One of the three has developed symptoms of Covid-19 and is being treated as a suspected case, the Canterbury District Health Board says.
The person is being tested, with the results due tomorrow.
The ship arrived in Akaroa Harbour this morning.
Canterbury DHB medical officer of health Dr Ramon Pink said the public health team was taking a precautionary approach.
All three passengers were in quarantine, and the cruise ship company had been very co-operative, Pink said.
"We realise this is disappointing news for other passengers and tourism/hospitality operators in Akaroa and Canterbury who were expecting to host the passengers today.
"We cannot risk the potential further spread if this person tests positive.
"Two of the three people isolated have been in contact with a confirmed case in the past 14 days."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced yesterday that any person from any country, excluding the Pacific islands, would be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival to the country. The restrictions take effect from 1am Monday.
Ardern also encouraged all New Zealanders to avoid all non-essential travel overseas.
- Additional reporting: Otago Daily Times