By CASS MARRETT
Queenstown now has six available SIQ units for visitors needing to isolate.
The additional four, available since Monday, are secured for four weeks, by which time the arrangement will be reviewed.
Southern District Health Board boss Chris Fleming says this capacity is enough for six separate bubbles, which he estimates could cope with about 25 people all up.
He says the facility — which he isn’t naming — will also be operating business as usual, with regular guests able to book in.
‘‘The way the facility is configured, we are confident that there’s a relatively easy means of
keeping the two components separate.’’
Additionally, there’s ‘‘significant’’ space at a facility in Dunedin, and transport’s been put
in place to transfer Covid-positive visitors there.
For people who ‘‘may not necessarily be as compliant’’, Fleming says they’ll be moved to the most ‘‘appropriate location’’.
‘‘We’ve also got some capacity … to be able to transport people to MIQ in Christchurch if we really needed to.
‘‘That would be at the extreme end of non-compliance.’’
Queenstown mayor Jim Boult says he’s ‘‘very satisfied’’ with the outcome after making his frustrations known just over two weeks ago.
‘‘I have to say [SDHB] reacted speedily … so look, [we are] a lot more happy than we were,’’ Boult says.
Fleming admits securing SIQ took longer than it should have.
‘‘We didn’t need the capacity quicker, but we could have started looking quicker, and I take responsibility for that,’’ he says.