An epidemiologist has questioned why contacts of positive Covid-19 cases are tested less rigorously than travellers returning from overseas.
Otago University's Professor Michael Baker pointed out that all returning travellers were required to stay in managed isolation and tests on the third and 12th days.
Close contacts, however, weren't required to be tested twice during their self-isolation.
"People returning from overseas are kind of like contacts of a case, or who have been exposed to the virus potentially," Baker said.
"Yet we have a very different standard for how we treat contacts, given we are not testing them twice as we are in managed isolation and quarantine."
Yesterday, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said while close contacts weren't routinely tested twice while isolated, they were monitored for symptoms.
A Ministry of Health spokesperson said the ministry was now investigating whether a second test should be policy for close contacts without symptoms.
Already, and on a case-by-case basis, those who were considered to still be developing infections were sometimes required to undergo up to three tests, around 48 hours apart.
Health Minister Chris Minister is expected to release a new order outlining a new testing regime, which will not require all border staff to be tested each week.
Ardern today also said Cabinet's testing strategy from late June had not been executed as expected, and she outlined three new measures.
As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern did today, Baker stressed that testing alone wasn't a safeguard to keeping Covid-19 out - and he added there were also concerns around "false-negative" results.
"Also, if someone has been recently exposed, they'll often produce a negative result - so we can't have blind faith in a test," Baker said.
"But as we move to this environment, when we really want to have zero tolerance for circulating virus, I think this is another thing that we need to review."
A small team co-chaired by Heather Simpson and Sir Brian Roche would be set up to help the ministry with its testing strategy.
Meanwhile, Baker said Kiwis should trust in the country's elimination strategy - and urged them not to blow the latest outbreak out of proportion.
"I think there is a tendency for people to catastrophise things, after we've had this long run and have got to relax.
"Then when we get an outbreak, some people might say, 'oh this can never work, and we are going to be yo-yoing in and out of lockdown forever' - and that is completely wrong."
Baker argued New Zealand's strategy had been generally working well, and the country could boast the lowest per-million mortality rate in the OECD.
"Economic indicators like growth and employment are relatively good - and if we can get back into elimination properly, which I think is quite likely, we'll be heading in the right direction."
He said countries like the US and European states, far from living with the virus, were regularly having to loosen and tighten restrictions, which caused ongoing problems for their health systems.
"Also, it doesn't give businesses much certainty at all. With elimination, we can get better at keeping the virus out and do a better job at targeted management.
"We've taken a step in that direction already, with our regional lockdowns and having different levels across the country."
In the meantime, Baker called for an inquiry into New Zealand's response to date, which he said could identify gaps and issues that might have led to the latest outbreak.