The owner of a Bluff restaurant at the centre of a Covid-19 cluster says the 70 wedding guests were from out of town, and all staff present now had to self-isolate.

Oyster Cove Restaurant and Bar hosted a wedding on March 21, attended by about 70 people.

It was announced earlier this week several attendees tested positive for Covid-19.

Venue owner Ross Jackson said he believed guests were not local but from Invercargill and beyond. Front-of-house staff at the event had self-isolated.


"We'll just hunker down here. We're obviously closed.

"The wedding was the last function we had on our books."

He said they had put health precautions in place, such as hand sanitising and minimal contact between people.

"I don't think that made a jot of difference to be fair, now I know what I know about Covid-19."

Bluff was a small place and since the news of the cluster broke, he had experienced the "odd sharp comment". The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

"You expect it, but to be fair, everyone in Bluff has been really supportive."

The Ministry of Health website yesterday listed a Southland wedding cluster which included 22 confirmed or probable cases of Covid-19, which increased by 14 over a 24-hour period, yet there were only 10 new cases in the Southern District Health Board area.


During a media briefing addressing the temporary closure of the inpatient ward at Lakes District Hospital yesterday, Southern District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming could not confirm where attendees of the wedding had dispersed to.

"We don't know — I know there are some from Dunedin and some from Invercargill. I don't have the specific numbers, sorry," he said.

Figures released by the Southern District Health Board yesterday show at March 30, there were nine cases in Invercargill — yesterday there were 18. Over the same period, Dunedin increased from 30 cases to 35 confirmed cases and one probable.

Medical officer of health Susan Jack said Public Health South had identified and was following up all contacts related to the wedding.

"We have been in contact with the wedding venue and provided appropriate advice to ensure there is no ongoing risk to the public."

Bluff Community Board chairman Ray Fife said Bluff residents wanted to know if any locals had tested positive for the virus.

"It just shows you any population, be it large or small, one person can trigger a chain reaction you end up losing control of ... That is the whole point of this lockdown."