Returnees at Novotel Auckland Airport will leave managed isolation as originally planned.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirms there are no new cases of Covid-19 overnight but encouraged kiwis to remain alert no matter the Alert Level decision. Video / Derek ChengBy RNZ
Returnees at Novotel Auckland Airport will leave managed isolation as originally planned, after in-facility transmission of Covid-19 was proved unlikely, Ministry of Health says.
The ministry yesterday said two unconnected returnees had tested positive on day 12 of their stays.
It said other people staying at their MIQ facility at Novotel Auckland Airport would have their stays extended while the ministry investigated whether the two cases caught the virus while in the facility.
Genome testing today however found one of the cases was historical, and the other had no links to anyone else in New Zealand and was likely picked up overseas.
The ministry said in a statement Auckland health officials considered the second case was likely historical “because of their clinical history together with a previous positive PCR test reported overseas in April”.
It was unlikely there was in-facility transmission, the ministry said.
Therefore the 125 other people in the hotel will be allowed to leave when their 14 days are up – which includes 115 today pending one last check.
Some 10 others will be eligible to leave tomorrow, in line with their original planned departure date.
“We understand the frustration some of the guests may have been feeling, but we also know how important it is to rule out in-facility transmission,” said director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.
“Every time a post day 3 case is recorded, it’s essential we investigate further. The majority of the time these cases can be explained through previous contact with a case or because the person is part of a travel bubble. In a small number of cases, such as these ones, further investigation confirms there is no underlying problem.
“The safety of returnees and that of all New Zealanders is our highest priority.”