COVID testing numbers fall in Motueka despite Omicron threat

There is only one new Omicron case in the Nelson-Tasman region on Tuesday - a household contact of the Motueka family.

That brings the region's total count to 13 cases of the highly-transmissible variant, but despite the Omicron threat there was no rush on testing today.

The Motueka testing site was empty on Tuesday morning, a stark contrast to the long lines and overwhelming demand on Monday.

The few that did line up for a swab today were feeling nervous, one person saying COVID has "tipped my whole life upside down".

Tasman District Mayor Tim King said after so many tests yesterday he was surprised there was only one case reported in the region today.

"Slightly unexpected, the expectation's been we'll get these case numbers more rapidly," King said. "This will continue to develop."

Business owners in Motueka said they are already feeling the impact of the 13 active Omicron cases.

"There is a number of people that are coming for a long stay that have cancelled out," Garden Motel Motueka manager Vince Bloomfield said.

The Ministry of Health believes the Motueka family at the centre of this outbreak became infected while in Auckland, not in the Nelson/Marlborough region.

The Ministry has thanked them for getting tested when they developed symptoms and cooperating with contact tracers.

"Shout out to the family for doing that, taking the right steps," King said.

People around the country are taking the right steps to protect themselves from Omicron, with a record 56,000 boosters given on Monday. Currently more than a million Kiwis have now been boosted.

Yesterday also saw a record for paediatric doses, with more than 14,000 given.

Bloomfield hopes with that protection people will continue to travel.

"Don't be afraid to come on down. It's just the way things are and it's going to be around for a while," he said.

That welcome is especially open to the desperately-needed seasonal workers.

"There are hundreds of jobs available in the region right now, over the next few months for people who want to come here and have a working holiday," 'Pick Nelson Tasman' campaign spokesperson Johny O'Donnell said.

A holiday that Omicron won't be taking.