A British DJ has avoided prosecution after triggering New Zealand’s first Omicron scare.
Drum & bass DJ Dimension, aka Robert Etheridge, arrived in the country on 16th December. He spent seven days in quarantine before breaking home isolation rules before receiving a negative day-nine test. Etheridge later tested positive for Omicron – thought to be the first community exposure of the highly contagious variant in the country – before canceling a slot at Rhythm & Alps festival on South Island resort Wānaka.
According to New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, Etheridge visited venues in Auckland over two days including nightclubs, restaurants and a shopping precinct before receiving a positive test result on 27th December.
“The Ministry of Health does not plan to refer this case to the police at this stage,” said the ministry in a statement. “[We need 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”.
Etheridge later offered up his side of the story via Instagram. “I’m devastated to share that after 10 days of isolation, I tested positive for COVID-19,” he wrote. “After completing my ten-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 twelve, two days after my isolation period had ended.”
“I cannot put into words how extremely sorry I am to everyone who will be impacted,” he added. “Never in a million years did I think anything like this would be a reality in a country that I love so much and that has always made me feel welcome.”