Passengers on a domestic flight sitting closest to a person who tested positive for Covid-19 soon after arriving in South Korea are being contacted as "priority".
Yesterday it was revealed a man in his 20s had tested positive a day after taking a plane from Auckland to Christchurch before continuing overseas to South Korea last week.
Today a Ministry of Health spokesperson said people who were seated in the two rows immediately around the passenger for the 95-minute flight from Auckland to Christchurch were being contacted as "first priority".
All remaining passengers on board the flight were also being contacted.
"This contact tracing process is being undertaken from an abundance of caution," said a spokesperson.
No details were given on how many people had been contacted in the past 24 hours or how many had been tested.
The traveller at the centre of the latest Covid scare had caught a domestic flight from Auckland to Christchurch on July 21, before travelling to South Korea.
Initially presenting as asymptomatic, Korean-language news services say the patient, a man in his 20s, is now in hospital under quarantine. Meanwhile, health authorities in both countries are trying to pinpoint where he caught the virus.
The Ministry of Health said they could not rule out the man became infected in New Zealand before travelling to South Korea.
Korean-language newspapers reported the international traveller in his 20s arrived from New Zealand on July 22 and tested positive on July 23.
He was admitted to Dongsan Hospital immediately for quarantine treatment.
The Health Ministry said the traveller left New Zealand a week ago on July 21 and arrived in South Korea on July 22 after transiting through Singapore.
The Prime Minister said the person spent several months in the US before returning to New Zealand midway through March.