In wake of latest Covid-19 case, PM announces cut-off date for border workers to get jab

Source: 1News

It is still unclear if the latest border worker Covid-19 case was vaccinated against the coronavirus, but the Prime Minister says more information is expected today.

A close contact of last week’s Covid-19 case, who also worked at the Grand Millennium managed isolation facility in Auckland, was confirmed to have the virus yesterday evening.

The person had returned an earlier negative test before testing positive yesterday.

The Ministry of Health said that because the new case has been self-isolating at home since being identified as a close contact late last week, there is considered to be very little additional risk to the community.

This morning, Jacinda Ardern told Breakfast she is "not at all" nervous about the latest case.

However, the case is still being investigated as to whether or not the person had received the Covid-19 Pfizer jab, which began rolling out to those working at New Zealand's border in February.

Ardern said she expected more information to be released about if the person received the vaccine today.

It comes after last week's border case, identified Thursday, was not vaccinated despite two opportunities to get the shot.

"You can see, obviously, efforts being made there — two booked appointments where this person didn't attend," Ardern said this morning.

First Security is around 79 per cent vaccinated, Ardern said, adding that the number isn't good enough.

"We want everyone to be vaccinated on our frontline," she said.

"From Monday through until the end of April, that becomes the final window where if people are not vaccinated in that period of time then they are redeployed, they are moved on. And that was always the point we had to get to.

"We believe we have a health and safety obligation to people who are at the frontline in managed isolation.

"It's a big call, but we'd always had the view that people would have to be moved on at that stage."

She said that rule applies to all workers, including hotel staff, security guards and health workers.

In a statement, First Security said it has met all Government-mandated requirements for staff vaccinations and is doing everything it can to ensure its employees are vaccinated by the end of April, while also acknowledging employee rights.

Its staff are aware they need to be vaccinated to keep working at MIQ facilities, and those who can't attend an on-site vaccination during a shift are paid to attend an appointment out of working hours.