Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will be one of the 30,000 or so fans heading to the Bledisloe Cup test between the All Blacks and Wallabies in Wellington on Sunday – but he’s warned those who are not feeling well to stay home.
“If you have got symptoms, I know it might be a pain but give your ticket away to the Bledisloe Cup match,” he said at yesterday’s media briefing.
“I don’t need it because I have managed to secure a not very good seat, but let’s not give away these gains. Don’t go if you are unwell and if you are unwell get a test done.”
Bloomfield had two other messages to rugby fans going to Sky Stadium on the weekend: Firstly, “enjoy it”, secondly “please scan in”.
“The reason we can do this, the reason we can play these two Bledisloe Cup tests this weekend and the following weekend in T?maki Makaurau (Auckland) is because of the work we have put in; it is great to be in this position.”
When asked if fans should be wearing masks, Bloomfied did not say they should, but said everyone should “be sensible”.
“One of the things we do know, there is some very good research done in Japan on this, is that the risks for spread, particularly in the community if there is Covid-19, are in places that are closed – that is indoors – [that are] crowded and where there is close contact. Now we have two out of three of those this weekend, but people are outdoors so the risk is a lot lower. And we are very confident that if people are symptomatic and get tested at the moment, we are confident we don’t have community transmission,” he said.
“I know there is going to be extra effort to have hand sanitiser there, so just be sensible.”
Bloomfield is an avowed rugby fan and played for the Centurions XV in July when they beat the New Zealand Parliament rugby team, where he scored a try.
Thanks to the move to alert Level 1 this week, the second Bledisloe clash at Eden Park next weekend will also be able to go ahead with fans, where Bloomfield’s advice will likely be the same.
As for who he will be cheering for on Sunday, Bloomfield said: “That’s a bit of a gimme isn’t it. I will be cheering for the All Blacks, just in case there is any doubt.”
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