British DJ escapes prosecution after sparking New Zealand’s first Omicron scare – The Guardian

Posted: January 3, 2022 at 2:09 am

A British DJ who triggered New Zealands first Omicron scare after breaking home isolation rules will not be prosecuted for the time being, authorities say.

The Ministry of Health does not plan to refer this case to the police at this stage, the ministry said in a statement, adding that it needs to balance the deterrence effect from any potential prosecution with enabling an environment that does not discourage future cases from assisting with the public health response to Covid-19.

Robert Etheridge, also known as DJ Dimension, arrived in New Zealand on 16 December and spent seven days in one of the countrys managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities, where he returned three negative Covid test results, Stuff reported.

After leaving MIQ he was required to spend three days in home isolation but did not wait to receive a negative day-nine test as also required before entering the community.

According to the ministry, he visited a series of venues in Auckland over two days including nightclubs, a shopping precinct and restaurants before receiving a positive test result on 27 December and being returned to MIQ.

Etheridge, who had been due to play at the Rhythm and Alps festival near Wanaka last week, apologised to those who I have inadvertently put at risk as a result of my misunderstandings.

I realise the gravity of the situation and I am deeply regretful to those who have been impacted.

In an earlier statement he said: After completing my 10-day isolation, and of the understanding that I had completed my quarantine, I entered the community. To my shock and enormous concern, I unexpectedly received a positive test on day 12, two days after my isolation period had ended.

His case triggered outrage in New Zealand, which has frequently been praised for its pandemic response and which only recently lifted lockdown restrictions on Auckland, its largest city, after a Delta outbreak.

Despite identifying dozens of close contacts, the ministry said on Monday that none had so far tested positive for the virus.

Covid cases are currently trending downwards in New Zealand, with just 27 new community cases announced on Monday and 24 at the border.

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British DJ escapes prosecution after sparking New Zealand's first Omicron scare - The Guardian

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