Four hundred passengers heading to New Zealand from Brisbane Airport were potentially exposed to a red zone traveller infected with Covid.
Earlier today it was confirmed one of the two red zone passengers who were allowed to mingle for two hours with green zone passengers in Brisbane has tested positive for Covid.
Almost 400 passengers who flew to New Zealand from Brisbane have potentially been exposed to the virus.
The infected man travelled from a red zone country but was inadvertently allowed to cross into the "green zone" area at Brisbane Airport where passengers were waiting to travel to New Zealand.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she had been advised of what had happened at Brisbane airport, where two red zone passengers were in a green zone area at the airport.
"At this stage officials consider it to present a relatively low risk."
She said that it showed how - despite the hard work that has gone into the transtasman bubble from both sides - "from time to time, we are going to have to manage situations where there are lapses".
Ardern would have more to say next week about extending the bubble to the Cook Islands.
She has previously said that the bubble could start operating in May.
No new cases in NZ today
There are no new Covid cases to report in managed isolation or the community today.
The number of active cases is now 23 - the lowest tally in eight months - as measures to stop travel from Covid hotspots start to make an impact.
New Zealand case numbers have not been at such a low level since August 11, when 22 people were being treated for Covid.
The Ministry of Health says officials are in contact with their Queensland counterparts today following the breach and will provide updated information as soon as possible.
A fresh travel alert was issued yesterday for passengers arriving into New Zealand from Brisbane to watch for virus symptoms after two Papua New Guinea travellers entered a wrong zone at Brisbane Airport.
The total number of active Covid-19 cases in New Zealand today remains at 23.
The ministry said today that 250,000 Covid vaccine doses have now been administered. A total of 69,000 people have received both doses.
Yesterday, passengers from three international planes were met by health officials at New Zealand airports after the Covid breach.
The affected flights were an Air New Zealand flight from Brisbane to Christchurch which arrived around 4.30pm, a second Air New Zealand flight, NZ 146, which landed in Auckland at 5.30pm, and a Qantas flight which landed in Christchurch.
The ministry said the incident sparking the health alert occurred in the Hudson Cafe in Brisbane airport, where two travellers from a red zone country spent two hours in the eatery at the same time as green zone passengers.
Queensland Health authorities said the pair had been transiting from a flight from Papua New Guinea and had been inadvertently directed into the terminal's green departure zone.
The ministry said the two red zone passengers had returned negative results before leaving their home country. However, a test result from swabs taken yesterday had returned a weak positive for one and a negative result for the other.
Yesterday, the inbound planes were met by officials who provided information to passengers, alerting them to the potential breach.
They also provided advice about monitoring their health for the next two weeks and contacting Healthline and getting tested if symptoms develop.
At this stage the ministry considers the risk to the travelling public as low.
Queensland Health had told the ministry the two red zone passengers were wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and were not symptomatic.
In New Zealand, there were three new cases from recent returnees in managed isolation facilities.
Two were from Pakistan and arrived here before travel restrictions from the country, which is deemed a high risk for Covid, took effect on Wednesday.
Brazil, India, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea have been designated very high-risk countries. Only New Zealand citizens and their immediate family members travelling from high-risk countries are eligible to enter the country.
There are presently 23 active cases of Covid in New Zealand. One person is being treated in hospital.