The Playa Zahara fishing vessel with 16 Covid-positive crew members on board has docked in Lyttelton Port this morning.
Three of the 18 crew members on the vessel Friday tested positive for the more contagious Delta variant, according to the Ministry of Health.
"Swabs were taken when the crew first arrived at Port Taranaki on Tuesday after reports of a flu-like illness on board. Standard Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) protocol, including the appropriate use of PPE, was used throughout the crew’s testing," the Ministry says.
"The most recent crew aboard the Playa Zahara had arrived in New Zealand on June 18 and spent two days at a managed isolation facility in Auckland. They provided negative pre-departure tests before arriving in New Zealand and again tested negative before boarding the ship."
Thirteen of the Covid-positive crew members have since been transported to a quarantine facility in Christchurch. Five others are remaining aboard to maintain basic functions of the vessel.
Whole genome sequencing is still underway for the remaining crew members.