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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

Last evening a number of people in the Novotel Auckland Airport managed isolation facility were advised their stay in managed isolation would be extended.

Returnees are to remain in the facility until the genome sequencing results of two positive day 12 COVID-19 cases in the managed isolation facility announced yesterday are available.

The two cases arrived on 14 June, one from Moscow and one from Dubai.

It is standard protocol that any cases detected after day 3 are investigated further, in particular to rule out in-facility transmission.

Investigations are currently underway by Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS). Whole genome sequencing is also currently underway to establish the strain and if there is a genomic relationship between the cases. Results are expected in the next 48 hours.

This means the departure of some returnees will be delayed. A number were due to leave the facility last evening while the remainder were due to depart today or tomorrow.

This is not an extraordinary measure, we do sometimes extend the stay of returnees, based on public health requirements, when health officials need time to investigate cases.

 The safety of returnees and that of all New Zealanders is our highest priority.  We are committed to keeping New Zealand free of COVID-19 and must be confident that everyone who undergoes managed isolation is well enough to return to their communities.

 We recognise the inconvenience this causes people and wish to thank the returnees in the facility for their understanding.