New Zealand's Omicron cases up to three

·1-min read

New Zealand has recorded its first community transmission of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, though case numbers remain well under control.

An Air New Zealand crew member, who tested positive last week, has passed the virus onto a household member, who becomes the third person in New Zealand with the variant.

The first was touring British DJ Dimension, who broke his self-isolation requirement to party in Auckland on Boxing Day before returning a positive test.

Dimension's rule-breaking is yet to produce further cases, meaning the highly infectious variant remains largely at bay in New Zealand.

However, an increasing number of international arrivals are testing positive for COVID-19 during their stay in quarantine.

Health authorities reported 29 border cases on Tuesday, including seven from Australia, with further testing to reveal how many of those have the Omicron variant.

On Tuesday, NZ health authorities reported 31 community cases.

For the first time since the Delta outbreak started last August, Auckland does not comprise the majority of daily cases.

Of the 31 new infections, 14 were in Auckland, 12 in the Bay of Plenty, four in Rotorua and one in the Waikato.

There are 53 people in hospital, including six in intensive care.

Some 92 per cent of Kiwis aged 12 and over are fully vaccinated, and from Wednesday many Kiwis become eligible for their booster shot after the government shortened the wait time between doses.

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