An Australian traveller may send New Zealand’s capital into lockdown after testing positive for COVID-19 on their return from Wellington.

NZ health authorities are considering their response after learning of the positive test, which may snap the country’s long streak of over 100 days without community transmission.

The person travelled to NZ last weekend, leaving Sydney on Friday night and heading back on Monday.

The most likely scenario – based on testing and the person’s symptoms – is he caught the virus in Australia and travelled to NZ while contagious.

Genomic testing will show whether the case is linked to the current Bondi outbreak.

Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said officials were considering all responses, including a snap lockdown, saying “everything’s on the table”.

“It’s proven useful in the past for us to not rule anything out,” he told Radio NZ.


“We will be looking at whether other measures might be required. Wider use of masks, restrictions on gatherings size for a period.”

Four close contacts have already been identified.

Wellington locations of interest have been revealed, including the national museum – Te Papa – and sports bar Jack Hackett.


Qantas QF163, departing Sydney at 7.05pm on Friday June 18 for Wellington

Air New Zealand NZ247, departing Wellington at 10.13am on Monday June 21 for Sydney