26 March 2020 – COVID-19 Update
We are pleased to report that the team has landed safely in Auckland. They have completed their process at Auckland Airport with public health officials, including being examined for symptoms of Covid-19 and filling out their isolation registration forms.
As per the updated protocol for arriving international travellers, the five members of the team who were booked to catch a connecting domestic flight have been required to remain in Auckland at a Government nominated hotel. The remainder of the team have returned to their homes to begin their 14 day period of self-isolation.
Antarctic Heritage Trust is grateful for the support of the many agencies who have worked hard to help bring our team home.
23 March 2020 – COVID-19 Update
We are pleased to say the Inspiring Explorers’ team has safely disembarked their Quark Expeditions vessel and were able to take their charter flight to Buenos Aires. We continue to work with the New Zealand authorities to bring them home. Thanks to everyone for the kind messages of support.
20 March 2020 – Statement regarding COVID-19
Antarctic Heritage Trust is liaising with New Zealand authorities and expedition operator, Quark Expeditions, in an attempt to get our Inspiring Explorers home from South America.
The Antarctic Heritage Trust team have completed an Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition in Antarctica, including kayaking in Antarctic Peninsula waters.
The 13-strong team, along with other passengers, are currently aboard the Ocean Endeavour, an Antarctic ship operated by Quark Expeditions, off the southern tip of Argentina.
Passengers and crew are required to stay onboard for 14 days from the date of departure, due to a mandatory quarantine requirement from Argentine officials regarding all visiting vessels. They are due to disembark on Sunday (local time) at Ushuaia, Argentina.
Nobody on board is ill, nor is there any suggestion that there are any cases of COVID-19 aboard.
On Thursday, the team were notified about the immediate cancellation of Air New Zealand’s service between Buenos Aires to Auckland, including the team’s scheduled return flights. Antarctic Heritage Trust is working to find other options to ensure the team gets home to New Zealand safely.
The Trust’s Expedition Leader, Marcus Waters says the team are safe and well on board Quark Expeditions.
“We’re all in good spirits, along with the other passengers on board. We are passing time by reviewing all the great photos and video we’ve taken on our trip and staying busy with organised activities.”
The Trust are in regular contact with Marcus and the rest of the team.
The Inspiring Explorers’ team left New Zealand for the expedition earlier in the month, before COVID-19 escalated and brought about global travel restrictions.
Every team member is aware of the requirement to go into self-isolation for 14 days, upon arrival back to New Zealand.
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