Crew aboard a container ship off the coast of Tauranga have tested positive for Covid-19.

Eleven of the 21 crew on the Rio De La Plata vessel are Covid positive, the Ministry of Health said this morning.

Officials said further testing would determine how many crew were still active cases and how many were no longer infectious.

Ninety-four port workers, who spent time on the vessel, have been stood down until they returned a negative test. Testing for staff was being arranged at the port this morning.

The ship is linked to a Covid-positive Australian pilot who was onboard the vessel in July in Queensland who developed symptoms and tested positive for the Delta variant nine days after being onboard. The pilot was not linked to any other Queensland cases.

Loading on the vessel was temporarily halted on Wednesday in Tauranga, before it resumed the following day after an assessment cleared the ship.

Public health staff took swabs from the crew as part if the requirements for entry to Napier, its next destination.

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