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Latest Covid-19 rule-flouting resulting in lockdown could cost businesses at least $400 million

The increase in Covid-19 alert levels, sparked by a concern over the origin and the movements of the case announced yesterday, is expected to cost New Zealand businesses a projected $400 to 500 million this week. 

Chris Hipkins, Covid-19 Response Minister. Source: 1 NEWS

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said it was “disappointing” when people didn't follow the rules. 

“We ask people to follow the rules. This person, clearly, was moving when they had symptoms and even after they had been tested,” Hipkins said of a 21-year-old male, one of the latest people to have contracted the virus.

The man visited the GP for a test on Friday, and then went to the gym while awaiting his test results. His positive test result was announced yesterday.

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Hipkins said it was important not to “pile-on” and create a culture of blame, because people needed to feel comfortable stepping up even if they had made a mistake.

He said the 21-year-old should have been isolating as his younger sibling attended Papatoetoe High School where a student with Covid-19 attended on February 10. 

Health authorities would have called families connected to the school daily, but the call would “have been to the sibling”, he said.

Hipkins said authorities would now look through what was said and when during those calls.

“We’ll avoid this stuff in the future if everybody just does what we’re asking them to do and stays home and follows the rules.”