Covid 19 coronavirus: Govt steps in over Auckland-Rarotonga flight after Cook Island doctor tests positive



Air New Zealand says it will not carry passengers on its Auckland-Rarotonga flight tomorrow after a Covid-19 scare.

The airline said that afer consultation with the Ministry of Health, it had made the decision not to carry customers on flight NZ946 tomorrow. The service will still operate outbound to Rarotonga carrying cargo, and the return service will carry customers into Auckland.

Air New Zealand’s chief executive Greg Foran says the decision was made not to carry passengers out of Auckland due to the city currently being at Alert Level 3.

It was reported tonight an Auckland-based Cook Island doctor tested positive for Covid-19.

“The Cook Islands has so far had no cases of COVID-19 and we want to make sure we are doing the right thing for both countries in terms of safety and wellbeing,” said Foran.

It is understood the man’s Auckland surgery is close to Americold – the cold storage business caught up in the latest Covid-19 cluster, 1 News reported.

The father of the family at the centre of the new Auckland Covid-19 cluster works at Americold.

It is understood another worker at the GP clinic has also tested positive for Covid-19.

It is not known if the doctor is linked to the current Covid-19 Auckland cluster.

The affected flight is Air NZ flight 787-9 departing Auckland for Rarotonga at 8.45am tomorrow.

The Ministry of Health told the Herald they are “currently working closely with its counterparts in the Cook Islands to mitigate any potential risk of Covid-19 entering that country.”

The Cook Island GP concerned is in hospital in Auckland , 1 News reported.

It reported that the GP is the “go to” doctor for local Cook Islands residents, and therefore there is concern residents on the flight tomorrow may be at risk for Covid-19.

There is one flight a week to the Cook Islands.

There are reportedly around 30 Cook Island residents set to board the flight.

Cook Island’s Ministry of Health has reportedly given the go-ahead for the flight.

But the New Zealand Government is considering whether to let the flight take off for Rarotonga tomorrow, 1 News reported.



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