Chart-Topping British DJ Avoids Prosecution After Sparking New Zealand’s First Omicron Scare


The DJ whose actions threatened to leak Omicron into the community after breaking self-isolation rules will avoid prosecution.

The Ministry of Health did not intend to refer DJ Dimension – real name Robert Etheridge – to police.

“The Ministry continues to assess the need for enforcement action in relation to breaches of the Covid-19 Public Health Response Order on a case by case basis, and may seek action in instances where this would support the public health response,” the Ministry said in a statement.

A police spokeswoman reportedly said any enforcement action over broken isolation rules would come after consultation with the Ministry of Health – and would generally follow a referral from them, which hadn’t been received.

Etheridge admitted to leaving self-isolation early without receiving the result of his day 9 test, which later returned a positive result and was confirmed as the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Etheridge, a UK-based electronic music artist, was due to perform at Rhythm & Alps near Wānaka before he abruptly pulled out not long before he was due to take the stage.

Before heading south he spent several hours in the community on Boxing Day – visiting a number of Auckland’s hot spots including a nightclub and bar, restaurants, and a jewelry store.

The visiting artist posted a picture taken on Christmas Day at an Auckland beach with two dogs. The festive photo, which has since been removed from social media, sends Christmas greetings from New Zealand and gives thanks for an amazing year in which his album reached the top of the UK Dance Charts.

The recent arrival from the United Kingdom was the first person infected with Omicron who has been active in the community in New Zealand.

In a statement on his Instagram page last week, Etheridge said he tested positive after 10 days of isolation.

“In line with the Government rules, I was in managed isolation for seven days followed by three days of home isolation,” Etheridge said.

“During this time, I received three negative tests and showed no symptoms. After completing my ten-day isolation, and of the understanding that I had completed my quarantine, I entered the community.

“To my shock and enormous concern, I unexpectedly received a positive test on day twelve, two days after my isolation period had ended.”