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Change of rules after women with COVID-19 left isolation on compassionate grounds

Change of rules after women with COVID-19 left isolation on compassionate grounds

Two women who have been confirmed as new cases of coronavirus in New Zealand were allowed to leave managed isolation on compassionate grounds.

Change of rules after women with COVID-19 left isolation on compassionate grounds

Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said from now on people will need to return a negative coronavirus result before being given compassionate dispensation from managed isolation.

The government has also suspended the compassionate leave scheme for those in isolation or quarantine while processes are reviewed.

On Tuesday, the government announced that New Zealand has two new cases of COVID-19, ending a 24-day streak of no new infections in the country.

The two new cases were confirmed as women aged in their 30s and 40s from the same family who had recently travelled from the UK.

They arrived in New Zealand on 7 June, having travelled via Doha and then Brisbane.

Bloomfield said the women had applied for an exemption from managed isolation on 12 June to grieve the sudden passing of their parent, and they were allowed to travel to Wellington from Auckland on 13 June.

“They were in a managed isolation hotel in Auckland and were permitted on compassionate grounds to leave managed isolation to travel to Wellington via private vehicle,” Bloomfield said.

He said there was an additional family member who may be at risk who is being tested and isolated.

Other potential contacts with the two women include those who were on the Brisbane to Auckland flight on 7 June and those who were in the same managed isolation facility in Auckland, including staff. The women had been at the Novotel Auckland Ellerslie hotel.

The new cases come after New Zealand lifted all social and economic restrictions except border controls last week.

The restrictions were lifted as the country had no new or active cases of COVID-19, and it became one of the first countries in the world to return to pre-pandemic normality.

However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned that new cases may come up in the future as New Zealanders return home, and some others were allowed in under special conditions.

New Zealand has so far had 22 deaths from the virus.

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