'Extremely sorry' - Dimension confirms he is Omicron case

Source: 1News

An international music artist has been confirmed as the Omicron case that spent time in the Auckland community on Boxing Day and December 27.

It is Dimension, aka Robert Etheridge, a UK drum and bass artist.

In a social media post late on Wednesday night, Dimension confirmed he had tested positive for the Omicron variant while in New Zealand.

He said he was "devastated" by the news.

He had been due to headline Rhythm and Alps but withdrew at the last minute alongside fellow UK artist Friction.

The announcement came around an hour after the Ministry of Health announced a border-related Omicron case had been out and about in the Auckland CBD on Boxing Day and December 27.

Dimension arrived on a flight from the UK via Doha on December 16 and returned three negative tests before testing positive on December 27, as a result of a day nine test.

On social media, Dimension posted images of himself at a Waiheke Island beach on Christmas Day. A Ministry of Health spokesperson told 1News he should not have entered the community before receiving the result of his day nine test.

However, Dimension said he was "of the understanding" he had completed his quarantine period before entering the community.

"I cannot put into words how extremely sorry I am to everyone who will be impacted," he said.

"Never in a million years did I think anything like this would be a reality in a country that I love so much and that has always made me feel so welcome."

As news broke that he was the Omicron case, his Christmas post began to receive abusive comments from followers angry he had brought the variant to New Zealand.

"If anyone gets sick or dies, it's blood on your hands," one said.

Earlier on Wednesday evening, Friction took to social media to announce he wouldn't be performing at the festival on Wednesday night after discovering he had been a close contact of a "potential Covid case".

Friction had played at Hidden Lakes Festival in Christchurch on Tuesday.

Shortly after, Rhythm and Alps organisers announced fellow UK-based DJ Dimension had also pulled out of the festival.

In a post on Instagram, Friction, real name Ed Keeley, told his followers he wouldn't be able to attend the festival as he had to head into isolation.

"The safety of everyone at the event, as well as the whole of New Zealand is the most important thing to me above everything," he wrote.

"I'm absolutely heartbroken but promise I will see you all very soon."

Later on Wednesday evening, Kiwi duo Lee Mvtthews also announced they were close contacts of Dimension and were heading into self-isolation.