Just 10 minutes - that is all a grieving daughter pleaded for so she could say a final goodbye to her late mother.
But Tapaita Lapao'o's application for an exemption from MIQ was declined late yesterday.
Lapao'o was captured in a heartbreaking video crying behind the gates of a managed isolation facility while reaching out to a hearse carrying her late mother.
In between heart-wrenching sobs, a few disjointed words could be heard: "Mum. Please. I cannot reach out. Hold my hand. My mother."
She is heard apologising to her late mum: "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry ... I cannot come."
Speaking to the Herald, the distraught daughter of 80-year-old Ilaisaane Saafi said it was one of the hardest moments of her life.
"I wanted to just go and kiss her. She won't come back and I won't see her again. I wanted to thank her for everything she's done for me.
"Just 10 minutes, that's enough for me to say goodbye to my beautiful mother."
But Lapao'o won't get that. Instead she will watch her mother's funeral virtually via a livestream.
It's a difficult decision to accept. But, she said she understands the need to eliminate risks to people at the funeral home.
"I'm just thinking about my family. Everybody will be there. I love my family. I'm thinking of the others. It's hard, but I just have to live with that."
Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine Brigadier Jim Bliss said Lapao'o's application was declined after the medical officer of health advised that she did not meet low-risk indicators.
"I would like to extend my sincerest sympathy to Ms Lapao'o and her family for their loss."
Bliss said he was personally involved in assessing Lapao'o's application.
The key factor in assessing exemption applications is the health risk of transmitting Covid-19 in the community, he said.
Other factors considered included the country the person has come from, the number of countries and airports they travelled through to get to New Zealand, the work they may have been involved in before coming to New Zealand, and where and who they intend to visit on release.
"The threshold is extremely high and very few exemptions are granted. To date, 3564 applications have been received and just 45 have been granted.
"These decisions are not easy ones to make and we are very sympathetic to the distressing situations people applying for emergency allocations and exemption from managed isolation are in. However, we need to balance each individual application with our critical work to ensure the safety of all New Zealanders."
Funeral director Francis Tīpene said if Lapao'o was allowed out, a room would've been organised in their establishment to facilitate the final farewell.
Lapao'o would have worn full personal protective equipment during the visit and the room would've been fully sanitised afterwards.
Lapao'o has been in managed isolation in Auckland since arriving from Australia last Friday.
Sadly, her mother died two days later.
Other than being a diabetic, Lapao'o said their mother was "very well and healthy" so it was a shock to everyone when she suffered a stroke about two weeks ago.
Lapao'o described her mother as a soft and caring woman who was known for her beautiful voice and love of singing in the church choir.
Hailing from Vava'u and Ha'apai in Tonga, she came to New Zealand with her then young children before remarrying and settling down in Grey Lynn; working as a kitchen-hand and cleaner.
Her husband, Semisi Taunga Saafi, died last year.
Speaking about the devastating moment shown in the video, Tīpene said he too began to cry seeing how much pain Lapao'o was in.
Because of the strict rules, Lapao'o's brother and nephews seen in the video could not physically reach out to comfort her.
"That'll be a moment that will stick with me. We felt for her so much and didn't want her to keep crying in case she collapsed.
"We just closed the door slowly and drove away. She was still outside as we left."
- Additional reporting Julia Gabel