24 Aug 2020

Were two Covid-19 cases on same bus? 'Not 100 percent confirmed' - Health Minister

From Checkpoint, 5:11 pm on 24 August 2020

Cabinet has decided on extending restrictions following the latest community outbreak of Covid-19.

Auckland will remain under level 3 restrictions for an extra four days, until midnight Sunday.

The rest of New Zealand will remain at level 2 until at least Sunday, September 6, to be reviewed before that date.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the extra time is needed to be confident the Auckland cluster is under control.

She said from midnight Sunday, schools, hospitality, retail and other businesses in Auckland that can operate under level two can open.

But there will still be a 10-person limit on gatherings, with an exception of up to 50 people for tangihanga and funerals.

In a new move, from Monday, wearing masks on public transport will be compulsory under level 2, or higher, anywhere in the country.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins told Lisa Owen it is not categorically proven two positive Covid-19 cases took the same bus. 

"As of this morning that hadn't been 100 percent confirmed yet. I haven't had the latest update, but it certainly looks very likely given the route they travelled, time they travelled, and description."

One of the passengers did not use their AT HOP card. 

He says descriptions from two Covid-19 cases who caught bus reveals they sat towards the back, but it is not known exactly what seats they were on. 

"We know they both sat near the back of the bus.

"Both of the people describe being caught in traffic sitting at the back of the bus, and it would appear they were on the same bus."