There have been two separate cases since mid-July where people returning from overseas have been allowed to be in managed isolation at their own home, the Government has confirmed.
Two people who recently returned from overseas are in managed isolation at their own house in a suburb in South Auckland after they were given a special exemption on medical grounds. Both tested negative for Covid-19 on day three and will have their day 12 test this weekend.
Everyone coming into the country from overseas is required to be in managed isolation - usually a hotel - for 14 days.
Tonight, a Managed Isolation and Quarantine spokeswoman confirmed the case was the second occasion an exemption from managed isolation had been granted on medical grounds since the exemptions process shifted from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on July 13.
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Forty-two other applications for exemptions based on medical grounds have been considered before being turned down or not progressed, the spokeswoman said.
"In order to be granted an exemption for this reason, there must be serious health conditions present that cannot be adequately addressed in a hotel setting, but that are not necessarily appropriate to manage in a hospital setting."
Information on whether any exemptions had been granted before July 13 wasn't immediately available, she said.
When an exemption was granted significant measures were put in place to protect public health.
"The safety of the community is always the primary concern when considering exemptions, and exemptions are only granted where the public health risk can be strictly managed.
"The exemption system in place allows us to consider people's very difficult personal circumstances, alongside the need to protect New Zealand from Covid-19," she said, before asking the public to respect the privacy of those in managed isolation at home.
The Herald became aware two people were in managed isolation at home when a
neighbour became worried after spotting several security guards outside a property near their house.
Officials wouldn't say when the pair arrived in New Zealand or which country they came from.
The neighbour who contacted the Herald said he only spotted the guards outside the house yesterday.
The guards told him their presence was "Covid-related", alarming him.
"I've got family that stay just next door to them and I don't want them catching it."
On the street today, a member of the public said up to three security guards were stationed outside the house, some wearing masks.
The news comes after director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said on Facebook this morning: "What we have put in place since April 9 is that everyone coming across the border, bar a very few exemptions, has to do that 14 days of managed isolation - so not even isolating at home."
There were no new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today and it's been 98 days since there was a case of community transmission of the virus in the country. All 23 active cases involve Kiwis returning from overseas, who are being quarantined.