The head of the Rotorua branch of Hospitality New Zealand has hit out at the Government for not yet naming the eateries two new Covid-19 cases visited while showing symptoms.

Reg Hennessy, Hospitality New Zealand Rotorua branch president and owner of Hennessy's Irish Bar, said it was "irresponsible" to raise the alarm but not give the details.

"Therefore we are all deemed to be part of it," he said.

"It is not just going to hurt the hospitality businesses who were unlucky to have their visit but it has put suspicion on everyone. We have already had a cancellation today that was made for tomorrow."


Auckland was placed into alert level 3 and the rest of the country into alert level 2 at midday yesterday.

The decision followed four confirmed Covid-19 cases with no known source.

Two of the new cases travelled to Rotorua with family, while showing virus symptoms, and visited tourism spots.

The family visited a number of locations, including eateries on their trip. They stayed at the Wai Ora Hotel from August 8 to 11 and visited the Skyline Gondola Lodge on the evening of August 9, 4pm to 6pm, and Heritage Farms Art Gallery on the afternoon of August 10, 3pm to 4pm.

Covid 19 coronavirus: New case travelled to Rotorua while showing symptoms
Covid-19 coronavirus: Rotorua residents rush to testing station
Covid 19 coronavirus: Testing on the rise in the Rotorua Lakes District
Covid 19 coronavirus: Rotorua to move back to level 2 but locals urged not to overreact

The other places they visited have not yet been revealed.

This evening, one of the eateries, Fat Dog Cafe and Bar, made its connection to the cases public in a Facebook post.

Hey Dogsters - late this afternoon we heard from the Ministry of Health that the Auckland family of 4 with COVID visited...

Posted by Fat Dog Cafe and Bar on Wednesday, 12 August 2020

"Late this afternoon we heard from the Ministry of Health that the Auckland family of four with Covid-19 visited Fat Dog on Sunday afternoon between 1.30-2.30pm.


"At this time we have four staff who the Ministry of Health deem to be 'casual contacts' and are self-isolating pending a negative Covid-19 test.

"We are following the guidelines set out by Ministry of Health completing a deep clean tonight on top of our usual Covid-19 management practices.

"The good news is the cafe has remained set up for bubble seating and today we implemented again screens between seats to ensure continued safe separation between customers ... Normal hours will resume tomorrow from 7am."

The Rotorua Daily Post has contacted the Heritage Farms Art Gallery, which did not wish to comment and WaiOra was not contactable.

In a statement, Skyline Rotorua general manager Andrew Jensen said they had found out the family had visited Skyline, last Sunday, from Toi Te Ora Public Health around the same time the rest of the country found out from director general of health Ashley Bloomfield.

"We are following the guidance of the Ministry of Health and are currently working through our next steps to ensure the wellbeing of both our staff and customers. These steps will most likely involve testing for those staff that worked on Sunday and any isolation instructions on advice of the Ministry."


He said Skyline had been closed since Monday due to scheduled Gondola maintenance.

Bloomfield said the infected family's visit to Rotorua - the four confirmed community-based cases as revealed last night - had not resulted in anyone being classified as a close contact.

Bloomfield said there were no other locations that presented risks besides Rotorua.

Rotorua residents were advised to remain alert to symptoms of Covid-19 until further information on where the family visited is released.

Part of the advice to businesses in Rotorua will include getting staff who were working to get tested.

Bloomfield advised that staff working at the Rotorua eateries that served the family be tested for Covid-19.

Subscribe to Premium

When asked at this afternoon's press conference why the names of the Rotorua eateries the family visited were not public yet, Bloomfield said "before we release the information we want to have talked with the business first".

He said these discussions would be: "About the business, secondly about the time and date it was visited so we can make that available and third that there's been an opportunity to talk with the owners of the business before we make that public."

"So we will continue to make that information available, as it comes through."