There are two new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, after the country just declared the virus had been “eradicated” from its shores.
The new cases are related to the border as a result of recent travel from the United Kingdom, the Ministry of Health confirmed in a statement.
The cases are connected, according to The New Zealand Herald.
It is thought the two new cases were given special exemption to attend a funeral in New Zealand, TVNZ reports.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned again yesterday that there would be more COVID cases in the future, but hopefully they would only be at the border.
“I don’t want New Zealanders to believe that the battle is over when it is not,” she said yesterday.
Ms Ardern has previously said she would not rule out the possibility of moving back up alert levels.
People who are currently in quarantine or managed isolation after arriving in New Zealand from overseas cannot attend a funeral.
If they have been in quarantine or managed isolation for a week and have had a negative test, they can get dispensation to attend a small family gathering to grieve, with limited numbers.
However, these rules were only introduced on June 9. Prior to that, people could be granted dispensation to attend a funeral if they were in managed isolation and passed certain criteria, such as having medical details of the person they were visiting.
“Applications received prior to (June 9) could be granted approval to attend a funeral under the old criteria, even if their application processing wasn’t completed until after (Friday),” a Ministry of Health spokesman said.
This dispensation was limited to people in managed isolation, and did not apply to people in quarantine.
The first 40 days of quarantining and isolating all people arriving from overseas amid the virus pandemic cost almost $NZ50 million ($AU46.6 million).
With 7755 people being housed and monitored in hotel rooms over that period, from April 10 to May 19, the average cost is about $NZ6200 ($AU5786) per person.
According to Ministry of Health data, 12 of them have tested positive for COVID-19 during that period. All but one had arrived from Australia, while the other person had flown in from the USA.
A total of 22 people have died as a result of COVID-19 in New Zealand.
The number of cases of COVID has passed eight million across the globe, with 436,000 deaths. The United States alone has had 2.1 million cases and 116,000 deaths.
This article originally appeared on The NZ Herald and was reproduced with permission