Protest at Parliament named as Covid location of interest

Source: 1News

The anti-mandate protest at Parliament has been identified as a close contact Covid-19 location of interest.

Protest outside Parliament.

The protest, which is in its seventeenth day, was named by the Ministry of Health as a location of interest on Thursday.

Those at the protest on Saturday, February 19, from 11.55am-11pm and Sunday, February 20, from 11am-11.59pm, are considered close contacts.

Bowen St was named specifically.

The health advice is to isolate for seven days and get a test on day 5 from exposure. People should get a test again if any Covid-19 symptoms develop.

Two protesters have been confirmed as having the virus, while Police Commissioner Andrew Coster has said "a number of staff" working on the frontlines at Parliament have tested positive for the virus.

Asked what he would expect those at the protest to do, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said: "I would expect them to do what we're expecting of all New Zealanders and that is essentially to do the right thing to protect other people and that's the reason we've done well today, because New Zealanders have done that actually.

"Regardless of what the rules are, it's still reliant on a high level of trust and confidence people will do the right thing and they have and we'd ask the same of anyone present at a location of interest."

Asked if he was concerned about the protest, Bloomfield replied: "I’d be as concerned as anyone else because we know exactly the sorts of things that are likely to spread this virus and so it puts people there at risk. Some of those people, especially because there are lower vaccination rates, will get unwell and particularly unwell. That to me puts them at risk so I’m concerned about that."

Bloomfield said he did not know of any more confirmed cases from the protest.