Covid-19: Government suspends all compassionate exemptions for travellers

Source: 1News

The Government is suspending all compassionate exemptions for travellers until it gets assurances from the Ministry of Health that the procedures are more robust.

It also wants the Ministry to go back over exemption cases that have been approved.

The news comes as two new Covid-19 cases were recorded in New Zealand today. They were two women, one in her 30s and one in her 40s who arrived from the UK earlier this month.

Both women arrived in New Zealand together on June 7 and stayed in managed isolation in a hotel in Auckland.

"A new case is something we hoped we wouldn't have but it is something we planned for," Dr Bloomfield said.

They were permitted on compassionate grounds to travel to Wellington in a private vehicle on June 13.

1 NEWS understands the cases were given a special exemption to attend a funeral.

"They had no contact with anyone else. They did not use any public facilities and were with a single family member," Dr Bloomfield said.

Dr Bloomfield said potential contacts with the two women were people on the same Air New Zealand flight from Brisbane and those in the same isolation facility in Auckland.

Prior to testing one was experiencing mild symptoms, he said.

Both women were tested in Wellington.

Dr Bloomfield says he is adding a rule that any person leaving an isolation facility needs to have returned a negative Covid-19 test.

He said the only person at risk from the pair was the family member who was in close contact with them.

The two new cases breaks a 24-day streak without any new cases, and a seven-day streak without any active cases in the country.