The Government has suspended the exemptions for people in managed isolation to be granted leave on compassionate grounds.
The crackdown follows questions around the two women who tested positive for Covid-19 - and whether they should have been allowed to leave their Auckland hotel room if proper protocols had been followed.
Those protocols include the need to have spent at least a week in isolation and to test negative for Covid-19 before being granted compassionate leave.
The women flew in from the UK on June 7, and were granted leave on June 13 because of their exceptional circumstances - the sudden death of their parent.
They were not tested before leaving Auckland on the condition that they were tested after arriving in Wellington, where they tested positive.
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Health Minister David Clark, in a statement this evening, said compassionate exemptions would be put on hold until the Government had confidence in the system.
"Compassionate exemptions should be rare and rigorous and it appears that this case did not include the checks that we expected to be happening. That's not acceptable.
"Our border measures are a key line of defence against Covid-19 and we must ensure they are as robust as possible.
"The Director General will be reviewing the processes around these latest two cases, noting that he has already made it a requirement that all individuals must return a negative Covid test before leaving managed isolation facilities from now on."
The women were also not given the proper daily health checks in managed isolation, which may have led to their leave being declined.
"My understanding is the person who had the symptoms was asked, 'Are you okay?'" director general of health Ashley Bloomfield said today.
"The protocol is to go through each individual symptom ... It may well have been that that would have elicited specific symptoms that may have led to suspicion."
One of the women had mild symptoms before being tested, but it was put down to a pre-existing condition.
Bloomfield remained confident that the women had not caused an outbreak as all their close contacts were being traced, and the women and the family member they visited in Wellington were in self-isolation.
National's health spokesman Michael Woodhouse said that the cases raised serious questions.
"Compassionate leave to exit managed isolation can only be given after seven days and a negative test, according to guidance from the Ministry dated June 9.
"Ashley Bloomfield claimed in the press conference that going forward they will now test on exit in case of compassionate grounds, but the Ministry of Health website said this was already the case and the ministry simply failed to fulfil its own procedures.
"New Zealanders have done the hard yards over recent months. The Government can't let this hard work go to waste due to sloppy lapses in procedure."
UK to Doha to Brisbane to Auckland
The new Covid-19 cases in New Zealand are two women who flew in from the United Kingdom and traveled to Wellington to grieve the sudden passing of their parent.
Bloomfield said it was possible the women picked up the infection in the UK, in airports or on their flights.
The women, one in her 30s and one in her 40s, arrived in New Zealand together on June 7 on a flight from the UK via Doha and Brisbane.
They were permitted on compassionate grounds to leave managed isolation to travel to Wellington via private vehicle, which a relative dropped at their hotel, on June 13.
Bloomfield said they did not need to stop for petrol and they did not use any public facilities, suggesting they had gone to the toilet on the side of the road.
They were tested yesterday in Wellington. Positive results were returned this morning.
Local public health staff are now testing and isolating all others who may be at risk of exposure, including the one family member that the women met in Wellington.
Staff at the Novotel Ellerslie in Auckland, where they women had been staying, will be stood down and tested.
Footage of the women moving through Auckland Airport was also being reviewed. Any staff at the border who are considered possible close contacts will also be stood down and tested.
Public Health staff have been in contact with their counterparts in Australia to check on passengers on the same flights as the women.
Bloomfield did not know how many close contacts there were at this stage.
Both women are now self-isolating with their family member in the Wellington region, in a separate place on the property.
"They've had no other contact with anybody else."
The women had been careful not to put anyone at risk and had taken face masks for their journey, Bloomfield said.
"In this instance, the women did everything that was asked of them."
The women applied for leave on compassionate grounds on June 12, and their parent died that night.
"I sense they may have thought they had more time, but unfortunately the relative died that night," Bloomfield said.
Because of the circumstances, the women's leave application was expedited and they drove to Wellington the following day.
While compassionate exemptions were no longer available for funerals or tangi, Bloomfield said they could be granted to see a dying relative or grieve the loss of a loved one in a small group of people.
Today broke the streak of 24 days of no new cases.