Te Papa visitors Saturday 14 March: consider self-isolating due to Ruby Princess passengers

Te Papa has new important advice to visitors who were in the museum on Saturday 14 March.

If you were:

  • On the “Introducing Te Papa tour” at 10.15 or 11am on Saturday 14 March; OR

  • Within one metre of a Te Papa visitor for 15 minutes or more on Saturday 14 March,

You need to seek advice and consider self-isolating until 29 March.

This follows new direct advice to Te Papa from the Ministry of Health about the Ruby Princess cruise ship.

Passengers from the Ruby Princess visited Te Papa on Saturday 14 March. There were a number of tours exclusively for Ruby Princess passengers, and two tours which likely included a mix of Ruby Princess passengers and other visitors. Additional Ruby Princess passengers came to the museum as visitors but didn’t take a guided tour.

As well as advising visitors, Te Papa is requiring staff who were within one metre of a Te Papa visitor for 15 minutes or more on Saturday 14 March to self-isolate until 29 March. This will include all tour guides from that day.

Tumu Whakarae | Chief Executive Courtney Johnston said Te Papa would do everything it could to get information and support to visitors and staff.

“We will do everything we can to support people, and get them all the information and help they need,” Ms Johnston said.

“Te Papa hosts and tour guides love our visitors and they love sharing Te Papa with the world, it is really tough to realise that in doing their job, they may have been exposed to covid-19.

“We will make sure that staff who could be at risk strictly follow the advice of health authorities, to protect their own health, their whānau, and the community.”

Te Papa Kaihautū Dr Arapata Hakiwai said that in these unprecedented times, Te Papa staff were drawing on their close connections as te whānau o Te Papa.

“We have a real whānau feeling among our people at Te Papa, and the aroha of all of team Te Papa will be with those who need to self-isolate, among our staff or among our manuhiri,” Dr Hakiwai said.

“This is a time when all of Aotearoa and the world is grappling with new challenges, and we are very grateful to our team for the way they are pulling together, following all the precautions, and doing what needs to be done.”

Te Papa is also closing its offices to staff for a week, and asking some staff to self-isolate, in response to new guidance from government about social distancing.

This will give the museum time to implement social distancing or working from home for its staff.

This will not affect the employment status of any Te Papa staff.

The museum was closed to the public on Friday 20 March.

Media contact

Kate Camp, Head of Marketing and Communications
029 601 0180, kate.camp@tepapa.govt.nz