People in Wellington who went to the surrealist art exhibition at Te Papa and/or Jack Hackett's Bar last Saturday are most at risk of coming into contact with the Sydney man who tested positive for covid-19 and was probably infected before he arrived in New Zealand.

That's in addition to those on the Qantas flights the man took to and from Wellington back to Sydney.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) is recommending anybody who was at the art exhibition between 4pm and 5:45pm on Saturday and those who were at the bar from 8:45pm should self-isolate for 14 days and get tested immediately unless they're due to be tested within a day.

They should also call the covid healthline 0800 358-5453.

That means potentially hundreds of people came in contact with the traveller, who was at Te Papa from 3pm.

Te Papa has tweeted that it has closed following the identification of three contacts with the covid-infected visitor from Sydney.

MoH has yet to post details of anywhere the man visited on Sunday.

The man stayed at Rydges Hotel in Featherston Street after arriving in the early hours of Saturday until he left on Monday morning. He also visited the Unichem Wellington Central pharmacy on Lambton Quay at 10:38am on Saturday.

Unaccounted time

But that still leaves large swathes of time not accounted for.

MoH said NZ's contact-tracing team is working with its Australian counterparts to gather more information.

It said Wellingtonians and visitors to Wellington should check its website throughout the day which will continue to be updated as further exposure sites are confirmed.

It said four close contacts with the man have been identified and are isolating.

Australian health authorities are contacting those on the return flight.

"Public health officials have said that, based on the time of their symptom onset and CT score, it is most likely the visitor contracted the virus in Sydney prior to their visit to NZ," MoH said.

The Australians are conducting genome sequencing to see if the case is linked to the current outbreak in Sydney.

"The ministry reminds everyone to please remain vigilant and stick to the basics: stay home if unwell and get advice about having a test, wash hands regularly, cough and sneeze into the elbow, wear masks or face coverings on all public transport, and keep track of where you've been."