Two Covid-19 infected travellers had five minutes of "limited physical contact" with two friends after getting lost on Auckland's motorway network, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
After being allowed to leave mandatory isolation at their Auckland hotel in a private car, the two British women got lost as they embarked on a 640km road trip to Wellington.
The women met with two friends, who had provided the car, and the foursome exchanged hugs and kisses, it was alleged today.
"As part of this the pair were in limited physical contact with the two friends for approximately five minutes," a statement from the ministry tonight says.
One of the two who met the women to give directions would later attend a gym class, before she knew that the two women had tested positive.
The two people have been tested for Covid-19 and were in self-isolation.
The New Zealand friends have made contactless deliveries of food or care packages to the women while they have been in self-isolation in recent days, the ministry says.
"These packages were contactless deliveries and the friends who have delivered the packages have taken all appropriate precautions to maintain physical distance. As such there is no risk to the community from these interactions."
The ministry say it's important to remember that the two women were distressed at the time by the sudden death of their family member.
"It is not uncommon for information and details to evolve, including details being missed during case interviews and contact tracing where there is heightened emotion, intense grief and stress."
In the House this afternoon, National MP Michael Woodhouse claimed that two women, who have tested positive for Covid-19, got lost on their drive from Auckland to Wellington and required help - giving their helpers a "kiss and a cuddle".
Woodhouse initially made the comments in the House, but soon after repeated them to reporters.
He said a source told him the two women were in a borrowed car and got lost on their way from Auckland to Wellington so stopped and asked someone for directions.
The women thanked their helper with a "kiss and a cuddle", Woodhouse claimed in the House.
Health Minister David Clark replied to Woodhouse's claim by saying he would be "deeply concerned" if that were the case as he had been assured the women had no contact with anyone during their journey.
Woodhouse told reporters: "They [the pair] called on some acquaintances for help with directions. When they were there, there was close physical contact, including a cuddle and a kiss.
"I'm calling on [Health] Minister to require the Director-General [of health Ashley Bloomfield] to look deeper into the circumstances of that journey, and reassure himself he's got all the facts."
He said the source was "very reliable" and "closely connected".
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