Sunday, October 17, 2021

Women who travelled to Blenheim have returned negative Covid results

The women, aged 48 and 49, will appear at the Blenheim District Court on Thursday.

Ricky Wilson/Stuff

The women, aged 48 and 49, will appear at the Blenheim District Court on Thursday.

Two sex workers accused of breaching a health order by travelling from Auckland to Blenheim have tested negative for Covid-19.

Auckland women Dongyun Yang, 48, and Yongxiu Su, 49, appeared at the Blenheim District Court on Thursday afternoon. They appeared via audiovisual link from Blenheim police station.

They were charged with breaching Auckland’s alert level 3 boundary by travelling to Blenheim without correct documentation.

The charge sheets indicated they left Auckland on October 9, and were arrested in Blenheim on Wednesday, October 13.

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Police initially opposed bail, but after both women presented a negative Covid test on Thursday, police prosecutor Nick Cooke said they supported the women being granted bail up to Auckland.

Neither woman entered a plea, and were bailed to Auckland by Judge Tony Zohrab. They were scheduled to reappear again at the Blenheim District Court, possibly via audiovisual link, on October 26.

Police and the Ministry of Health said earlier on Thursday they were still investigating the women’s movements, including how they managed to travel to Blenheim.

STUFF

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says health workers and police are “pulling out all the stops” to locate a woman who broke lockdown rules and travelled to Northland. Video first published October 11, 2021.

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett said news of the women in Blenheim was “very disappointing” and showed how the South Island remained vulnerable to the spread of the Delta virus.

“We need to stay vigilant and get as many people vaccinated as possible. While Marlborough has a high vaccination rate, there is more to do.”

The South Island Masters Games was due to start in Blenheim on Friday morning.

“It would have been a very sad day for our events and hospitality businesses if that had not been able to go ahead – we are hosting 2000 visitors here over the next 10 days.

“I’d like to thank the Blenheim police and the Ministry of Health for their excellent work tracking down and apprehending these individuals.”

Marlborough has one of the highest rates of Covid vaccination in the country. Ministry of Health data released on Wednesday showed Marlborough was 73 per cent fully vaccinated, while 89 per cent had received their first dose.

A police spokesperson said all staff interacting with the two women wore full PPE.

The six officers that dealt with the women were initially stood down as a precautionary measure, but following advice from health officials, police were advised the staff were not required to isolate, the spokesperson said.

Last week two women, one believed to be a sex worker, gained entry into Northland using false documents, and after returning to Auckland the sex worker tested positive for Covid-19. She had been uncooperative and was not telling authorities where she had been, prompting the region’s shift from alert level 2 into level 3 on Saturday.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said on Wednesday all but one of the woman’s contacts, including a Wellington person, had returned negative test results.

“Sex workers are entitled to the wage subsidy, and if they need it they should apply,” well-known Waikato adult entertainer Lisa Lewis says.

Christel Yardley/Stuff

“Sex workers are entitled to the wage subsidy, and if they need it they should apply,” well-known Waikato adult entertainer Lisa Lewis says.

Authorities originally struggled to find the second woman, but she was found in West Auckland on Monday and was now in a quarantine facility, Bloomfield said.

In September, a 24-year-old sex worker and a 41-year-old man were charged with breaching the Auckland boundary and travelling to Wellington during alert level 4.

Well-known Waikato adult entertainer Lisa Lewis said on Monday sex workers should claim the wage subsidy and stay home, rather than cross the Covid-19 border.

On Thursday, Lewis called for Covid-19 vaccinations to be made mandatory for sex workers, and regular tests, “just like a truck driver”.

“I’m extremely angry with the situation … it’s dangerous … they’re going to have our industry illegal if this carries on,” Lewis said.

Lewis said she was already fully vaccinated and voluntarily receiving regular tests. “For those girls doing back-to-back bookings, I would highly recommend they do the same.”

This article first show on www.stuff.co.nz Source link Author JENNIFER EDER AND MAIA HART on date 2021-10-14 02:25:03

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