Covid-19: Wellington's Te Papa to re-open tomorrow

Author
Nick James, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 28 Jun 2021, 11:40AM
Te Papa has been closed since Wednesday last week when it was revealed a Sydney tourist who tested positive for Covid-19 had visited the attraction. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Te Papa has been closed since Wednesday last week when it was revealed a Sydney tourist who tested positive for Covid-19 had visited the attraction. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Covid-19: Wellington's Te Papa to re-open tomorrow

Author
Nick James, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 28 Jun 2021, 11:40AM

Te Papa will re-open to the public on Tuesday after more than 60 staff returned negative test results for Covid-19.

The national museum has been closed since Wednesday last week when it was revealed a Sydney tourist had visited the attraction.

He tested positive for the Delta variant of Covid-19 on return to Australia, forcing officials to introduce alert level 2 restrictions in the capital.

The man's partner has also now tested positive meaning he was infectious while in Wellington.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins yesterday extended alert level 2 restrictions for a further 48 hours in the Wellington region, with more test results needed to give officials confidence the virus is not present in the community.

Te Papa said 123 of its staff were considered close or casual contacts during the tourist's visit, with 119 of those working at the museum between 3pm and 6pm on Saturday 19 June.

Twenty-eight of those staff were in the Surrealist Art exhibition and are isolating for 14 days, including chief executive Courtney Johnston.

The four remaining staff were at other places of interest.

Johnston said as of Sunday afternoon, more than half of the affected staff had tested negative. No positive results had been returned.

"With sufficient test results now coming in, we have enough staff who have tested negative to welcome and care for our visitors.

"We deep cleaned the building last week and have been looking forward to opening our doors again."

A karakia will be held on Tuesday before the museum opens to the public.

It will be back open for normal hours of 10am to 6pm, seven days a week, with most exhibitions open to the public excluding some interactive displays.

A key location of interest – the Surrealist Art exhibition - will be open but with a maximum of 78 people at a time to allow for social distancing. This compares to a previous limit of 270.

There will also be a limit of 900 people in the building at one time, all visitors must scan in or sign in manually, and all gatherings are limited to 100 people.