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Antarctica is the last Covid-19 free place on earth

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Antarctica is the only continent free from Covid-19, and New Zealand is committed to keeping it that way.

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Antarctica is the only continent free from Covid-19, and New Zealand is committed to keeping it that way.

Antarctica is currently free from Covid-19 and countries around the world are working to keep it that way.

Those with bases on the mainland have looked back at the work they do on the ice, and they are required to self-isolate before traveling south.

Foreign Affairs and Trade Department spokeswoman Susan Pepperell said Christchurch was one of the five Antarctic Gateway Cities in the world and a base for essential support and resupply of Antarctic stations.

“Our partners in Antarctica have significantly reduced their operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but some activities postponed from last season are now essential to keep the stations on the ice stocked, maintained and safe and the science on the ground. right track, ”Pepperell said.

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Hundreds of MIQ spaces have been allocated to members of the American, Korean and European Antarctic Programs.

The Foreign Ministry secured 181 rooms for 204 people in July and 377 rooms for 412 people in September this year, according to data from the Ministry of Enterprise, Innovation and Employment.

Places for an additional 351 people have been allocated for October, 228 people in November, 65 in December, 206 in January and 50 in February.

More than 800 rooms have also been allocated to the US Antarctic Program between August 2020 and February 2021.

During the 2021/22 Antarctic seasons, approximately 1,500 people will enter New Zealand to support our partner programs in Antarctica. That includes about 1,100 from the U.S. Antarctic program and about 400 from the Italian, Korean, French and German programs, but that’s less than half of a typical season’s total, Pepperell said.

“Antarctica is the only continent free from Covid-19. New Zealand and our Antarctic partners are committed to making this happen. Anyone entering New Zealand en route to Antarctica is subject to New Zealand border entry restrictions and quarantine / isolation requirements. These measures – designed to prevent COVID-19 from entering New Zealand – must also help keep Antarctica safe from COVID-19. ”

Provided

What the installation of New Zealand’s Scottish base in Antarctica might look like when completed. (Video published in May 2021)

Antarctic New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Sarah Williamson said all staff going to Scott Base were to self-isolate for two weeks and return four negative COVID-19 tests before leaving.

“This is to ensure that the virus does not reach the Ross Sea region where we are ill-equipped to deal with a pandemic of the magnitude of COVID,” she said.

Antarctica New Zealand has organized its own accommodation facility where all personnel going to Scott Base must self-isolate for the two weeks prior to deployment.

There are currently 48 people at Scott Base.

Seasonal health monitoring maintains an exemption for Antarctic New Zealand personnel from re-entering New Zealand without MIQ requirements.

Work is underway on the Scott Base redevelopment, which began about four years ago, and is in the detailed design phase.

“This season, we will do environmental monitoring, pile testing, relocation and long-term scientific monitoring, and we will start earthwork on the temporary base.

Decisions regarding block bookings of MIQ spaces are made by the ministerial group on border exceptions in blocks of a few months at a time.

The Foreign Ministry website says the number of rooms allowed for groups is typically between 350 and 500 rooms per fortnight, depending on government priorities, with unused rooms being released into the general pool.

The operational capacity is around 4,500 rooms per fortnight. The actual parts used vary depending on a range of factors such as maintenance and remediation work, regrouping, unexpected events such as the need to support people arriving from Afghanistan, contingencies of travel without quarantine and its role in the community’s current epidemic.

In December 2020, 36 people linked to the Chilean army base in Antarctica tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

Note: This story has been modified from a previous version of the online story.


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