British DJ escapes prosecution after triggering first Omicron alert in New Zealand | New Zealand
A British DJ who triggered Omicron’s first scare in New Zealand after breaking home isolation rules will not be prosecuted at this time, authorities say.
“The health ministry does not plan to refer this case to the police at this stage,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that it “must balance the deterrent effect of any potential prosecution with the creation of an environment that does not discourage the future case of assistance to the public health response to Covid-19 ”.
Robert Etheridge, also known as DJ Dimension, arrived in New Zealand on December 16 and spent seven days at one of the country’s Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) facilities, where he returned three negative Covid test results, Reported things.
After leaving MIQ, he had to spend three days in home isolation, but did not wait to receive a negative test on the ninth day – as is also required – before entering the community.
According to the ministry, he visited a range of places in Auckland for two days, including nightclubs, a shopping center and restaurants before receiving a positive test result on December 27 and being referred to MIQ.
Etheridge, who was scheduled to perform at the Rhythm and Alps festival near Wanaka last week, apologized to “those I have inadvertently endangered because of my misunderstandings.”
“I realize the gravity of the situation and deeply regret those who have been affected. “
In an earlier statement, he said: “After completing my 10-day isolation, and knowing that I had completed my quarantine, I entered the community. Much to my shock and concern, I unexpectedly received a positive test on day 12, two days after my period of isolation ended. “
His case sparked outrage in New Zealand, which has often been praised for its response to the pandemic and which only recently lifted lockdown restrictions on Auckland, its largest city, after an outbreak in Delta.
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 down in New Zealand, with just 27 new community cases announced on Monday and 24 at the border.