A British DJ sparked anger in New Zealand after bringing the first case of Omicron through its tightly controlled boundaries and going to clubs before testing positive.
Dimension, real name Robert Etheridge, 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 test on day nine.
The 30-year-old was supposed to spend seven days in a quarantine facility in Auckland and then three days in self-isolation.
But he broke quarantine rules by giving himself up before the results of that test came back on day nine and hit the city of Auckland, where he partied in a nightclub on Boxing Day until the wee hours of Monday.
Mr Etheridge also posted pictures of himself on a beach on Waiheke Island on Christmas Day – an hour’s ferry ride from Auckland.
Those images have since been deleted and replaced with a statement claiming that he “came to the understanding that I have completed my quarantine” and that he did not receive the negative test until two days after he thought it was over have.
But angry New Zealanders got him to bring the highly contagious new variant to the community. Although there have been quarantined cases of Omicron, Mr. Etheridge is the first infected person to enter the community.
Dimension, aka Robert Etheridge, posted pictures of itself on a beach on Waiheke Island on Christmas Day – an hour ferry ride from Auckland
Dimension on a beach an hour from Auckland on Christmas Day
Etheridge posted a statement on his Instagram page claiming that his isolation period was over and that he received a positive test on day 12. But according to the rules, he shouldn’t have entered the community until the test returned
Angry New Zealanders have praised Mr. Etheridge for bringing the highly contagious new variety into the community. Although there have been quarantined cases of Omicron, Mr. Etheridge is the first infected person to enter the community.
‘Impressive. What gives you the right to come to another country and blatantly ignore its isolation rules? ‘ Anneke Turner wrote that on his Instagram page.
Another user named Ayla said, “What made you feel above the rules? You realize that you have not only jeopardized your career, but also families, careers, livelihoods and people’s lives !? ‘
And Lisa Whyte asked, “Why are you deleting your NZ posts? Apologize for breaking the rules and bringing Omicron here? ‘
At the time of his arrival, travelers to New Zealand were required to complete a seven-day stay in Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ), followed by three days of self-isolation at home.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health said he should have waited for the result of the test on the ninth day before “self-evacuating” from the Auckland quarantine facility where he was staying.
In a statement posted on his Instagram late Wednesday, Mr. Etheridge wrote, “I am devastated that I tested positive for Omicron after 10 days of isolation in New Zealand. In accordance with government rules, I was in managed isolation for seven days, followed by three days in domestic isolation.
“During that time, I received three negative tests and showed no symptoms. After finishing my ten days of isolation and assuming that I had completed my quarantine, I entered the community.
“To my shock and concern, I unexpectedly received a positive test on day 12, two days after my isolation period ended.”
It did so about an hour after the Ministry of Health announced that an Omicron case related to the border was underway in the Auckland CBD on Boxing Day and December 27.
The ministry said a nightclub and bar were among the five places of interest related to the case.
Etheridge came to New Zealand via Doha and was supposed to headline a music festival in the South Island
It said the infected person, who has since been confirmed as Mr. Etheridge, did not wait for a negative test result before “self-setting”.
The Ministry of Health said those who were at Impala Bar between 11 p.m. on Boxing Day and 3 a.m. on Monday are close contacts and should isolate themselves for seven to 10 days.
In addition, it said that those who were in the Commercial Bay district on Boxing Day from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sunny Town on Lorne St on Boxing Day 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Partridge Jewelers on Dec. Christmas Day from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., The Ahi Restaurant in Commercial Bay on Boxing Day from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. or the Soul Bar from 9:30 p.m. on Boxing Day until 3:00 a.m. on Monday are ‘occasional contacts’.
These people should look out for symptoms over the next 14 days and get tested immediately if they suspect they have the virus.
Mr. Etheridge had been to the South Island for the headline of the Rhythm and Alps Festival, but retired with British artist Friction.
The police checked on 15.
A vaccination record checkpoint in Auckland on December 15th
Early on Wednesday evening, Friction also announced on social media that it would not appear in close contact with a “potential Covid case”.
Friction played at the Hidden Lakes Festival in Christchurch on Tuesday.
In a post on Instagram, Friction, real name Ed Keeley, said he was in isolation.
“The safety of everyone at the event and all of New Zealand is most important to me,” he wrote.
“I am absolutely heartbroken, but I promise to see you all very soon.”
New Zealand has no Omicron cases in its community yet and has recorded 17 cases in its border quarantine facilities.