Coronavirus: Nine new cases of COVID-19

New Zealand has new nine cases of COVID-19, according to Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

There are eight imported cases and one is a close household contact "in the marine employee cluster". 

Of the eight imported cases, seven are fishing crew. These were identified at day six testing and more positive cases are possible, Dr Bloomfield says. The other imported case is someone who travelled to New Zealand from Iran via Dubai on October 19.

We now have 66 active cases with 1567 confirmed cases overall. On Thursday, labs processed 6053 tests, taking the total to 1,054,047.

Dr Bloomfield thanks all Aucklanders who are being vigilant and getting tested when they are unwell or are close contacts of a positive case. He also acknowledges those in the health system working over the long Labour weekend.

People who were at the Greenhithe pub on Friday night are reminded to get tested. He says very few people had used the app and scanned in that night. 

Health Minister Chris Hipkins says it is important anyone who has symptoms gets tested. There will be more than 150 testing sites around the country for part of the weekend. Auckland will have seven centres over all three days.

Hipkins says it is disappointing so few people scanned into the pub with the app. He wants all Kiwis to keep playing their part. The numbers of scans each day have been falling for the last month.

Dr Bloomfield and Hipkins say there will be "intensive campaign" over the next three days reminding people to use the app.

The recent cases shows the "ongoing threat", according to the Director-General. This upcoming long weekend is a rehearsal for the Christmas break, he says. We need to lock these behaviours into our daily routines.

There would be enforcement issue with requiring all Kiwis to scan QR codes whenever they go somewhere, Hipkins says. Over the last seven months, New Zealanders have generally shown they want to do the right thing, he says.

On Wednesday, Dr Bloomfield revealed Aotearoa had recorded 25 new cases of the virus which has spread around the world infecting millions. Of these, two were community cases linked to the port worker confirmed as positive on Sunday, eighteen were from the group of Russian and Ukrainian fishermen, and the rest were usual imported cases.

Thursday saw two imported cases reported.

There are now several Auckland locations connected to one of the community cases, including a Greenhithe pub, Rangitoto College and a Browns Bay gym. A Henderson superyacht company has also reportedly been linked to a case after the individual visited its premises.