Another day passes with no community cases as Wellingtonians keep their fingers tightly crossed that they will return to alert level 1 on Tuesday at midnight.
Its been a week since the Covid-infected Australian traveller left the capital after a whirlwind three-day visit from June 19-21, visiting various eateries, tourist attractions and shops. The number of their close contacts has grown to 2,597.
Of those, 2273 people have returned a negative test as of Tuesday afternoon.
The Ministry of Health revealed on Monday afternoon that there were, again, no community cases in the country.
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A temporary testing station was set up at Te Papa during the weekend.
The ministry did report 10 new Covid-19 cases picked up in managed isolation facilities bringing the total active infections in New Zealand to 28.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told media on Monday afternoon that Cabinet was investigating making masks and location QR code scanning mandatory in certain high-risk situations.
Well be looking to make decisions on that next week. Places we are considering are those where there is increased risk and where people are in close quarters like bars and restaurants.
Under consideration would be people being required by law to wear masks during alert level 2 or higher in these locations.
A decision on whether alert level 2 in the Greater Wellington region would be continued past 11.59pm Tuesday would be made earlier that day, but Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said at the press conference that its encouraging what were seeing at this point.
Since the infected Australian traveller left Wellington last Monday there has been no evidence of community transmission or virus traces in Wellingtons wastewater.
It was revealed on Saturday, the Sydney visitors partner and travelling companion had also tested positive for the Delta variant after initially testing negative.
There were 754 tests processed in the Greater Wellington region on Sunday, which was an uptick on the previous day with 676 tests.
The region was given a scare on Friday when a test of a Masterton heath worker turned up a weak positive. The Ministry of Health confirmed on Saturday that that test was indeterminate and was not due to an active infection.
The person returned a negative test on Saturday.
Te Papa opening on Tuesday
The countrys national museum will reopen tomorrow with strict health and safety measures after the Sydney Covid-19 case forced it into the spotlight.
In a statement, the museum said it would reopen on Tuesday at 10am after it closed last Wednesday.
Most exhibitions and spaces would be open, with a small number of high-touch interactive displays shut off.
The Surrealist Art exhibition would be open with a maximum 78 people at a time, to enable distancing between people.
Te Papa was set to reopen on Tuesday.
Te Papa said that 123 of its staff were affected by Covid-19 restrictions, including 119 staff who were at the museum between 3pm and 6pm on Saturday, June 19, when the person with Covid-19 visited.
Of these, 28 were in the Surrealist Art exhibition and 91 were in the general museum. Four more staff were at other places of interest around Wellington.
The museum said all staff were required to get tests, while staff working in the Surrealist Art exhibition were required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Te Papas chief executive Courtney Johnston was among those self-isolating after visiting the exhibition that day.
As of Sunday afternoon, more than half of Te Papas affected staff had returned negative tests while others were awaiting results. No positive tests had returned.
Johnston said the museum was looking forward to welcoming back visitors.
An indeterminate Covid-19 test result in Masterton on Friday was followed up with a negative result.
– 900 people at a time in the museum
– All visitors must scan in, or check in manually
– Distancing required
– Gatherings limited to 100 people
– Cafe operates under level 2 rules
– Coat/bag storage not available
– Additional cleaning throughout the museum
– 78 people at a time in surrealist exhibition (previously 270 per hour)
– High-touch interactive in surrealist exhibition closed
– Distancing in queue to enter surrealist exhibition