Coronavirus: K-festival postponed after new community COVID-19 case in Auckland

Coronavirus: K-festival postponed after new community COVID-19 case in Auckland
Photo credit: Instagram

A cultural festival has been postponed after a community case of COVID-19 was found in Auckland. 

K-festival, which was expected to attract up to 10,000 people, was set to take place tomorrow at Eventfinda Stadium on Auckland's North Shore. The festival was a celebration of Korean food, music, performance and dance. 

But on Thursday, organisers said the festival was postponed until further notice because of the new case. 

The announcement came after an AUT student in her 20s tested positive for the virus earlier in the day. The woman became symptomatic earlier this week. While she was infectious the woman worked in a customer-facing role at a clothing store on Auckland's High St and visited several restaurants around the central city. 

Organisers said they appreciate the interest and support in the festival which will be rescheduled once the Government has confirmed that it is safe.

"We are sad to share the unfortunate news that K-festival has been postponed until further notice," organisers said in a post on Instagram. 

"We understand that the news from today regarding community transmission in Auckland CBD has been a surprise and a concern to you."

"As we value the safety of everyone, we have unfortunately decided to postpone the event until further notice. Although the New Zealand Government has not announced their decision on the next steps, we wanted to take the initiative in following the standards and regulations by the New Zealand government to keep the New Zealand community safe.

"We have spent so much time and efforts preparing for the event, but your safety matters the most to us.

"Once the New Zealand government has confirmed that it is once again safe, we will bring back the K-festival."

The festival was originally due to be held in March but was postponed because of the pandemic. 

Earlier in the year the Pasifika Festival, the Auckland Secondary Schools Polyfest, Diwali and the Lantern Festival were all cancelled as well. 

New Zealand is currently at alert level 1 meaning large events can take place however, there has been widespread concern that the country could see stricter levels after the new case. 

On Friday morning COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins wouldn't rule out a lockdown for Auckland. 

"We worked really hard over the last couple of months to strengthen our case investigation, contact tracing and testing capability because that's how we protect against escalating our alert levels... we want that to be a last resort."

The Government is holding a standup at 2pm to discuss any alert level changes. 

In the meantime, Hipkins wants people to take precautionary measures like wearing a mask on public transport or avoid the CBD.