There are two new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand and it has been revealed they are travellers who recently came here from the United Kingdom.

It is thought the two new cases were given a special exemption to attend a funeral in New Zealand, TVNZ reports. Both new cases are connected.

The news comes after the country enjoyed 24 days without any new cases, with the lack of cases resulting in the start of alert level 1 last week.

Anyone who is symptomatic on arrival into New Zealand will be placed into quarantine.

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People who are in quarantine after arriving in the country from overseas cannot attend funerals.

If they have been in quarantine for a week and had a negative test, they can get a dispensation to attend a small family gathering to grieve - but not a funeral.

However, these rules were only introduced on June 9. If a person applied for dispensation to attend a funeral before that date, it could have been approved.

Strict border controls remain in place at the border. Photo / Supplied
Strict border controls remain in place at the border. Photo / Supplied

On Sunday afternoon, a flight from London, UK, landed in New Zealand after making stops in Doha, Qatar, and Brisbane, Australia.

More details about the new Covid-19 cases would be provided in a media stand up at 3pm, hosted by the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

You can watch Bloomfield live on nzherald.co.nz.

All arrivals into New Zealand go through health screening, they are tested for the virus and also forced to spend 14 days in mandatory managed quarantine or isolation.

Despite the easing of many restrictions with the move to level 1 at 11.59pm last Monday, controls at the borders remain strict because Covid-19 is uncontrolled overseas.

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A small number of people are eligible for exemption from managed isolation, such as medical transfers and those with serious medical conditions.

If an exemption is granted, the self-isolation period must be completed at home over the same 14-day period regardless.

Exemptions categories include a minor travelling alone, medical transfers, those with conditions meaning they can not be accommodated at managed facilities, and workers critical to the Covid-19 response required to undertake tasks during the two-week isolation.

The Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Aircrew still have an exemption from the two-week self-isolation period.

Anyone arriving in New Zealand on a flight which departs from another country cannot connect to a domestic flight.

If a traveller is symptomatic on arrival, they are placed in a quarantine facility for two weeks. If they are not symptomatic on arrival, they are placed in an approved managed isolation facility for two weeks, according to the ministry's website.

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Since June 8, all travellers who arrived in the country were tested for Covid-19 at their respective facilities.

"Specific facilities are being used for a small number of travellers who are unwell when arriving in New Zealand. These people are in quarantine and are unable to leave their room," the ministry website says.

"Separate facilities are being used for travellers who are well. While in these facilities, they are able to go for a walk within the confines of the facility, but will need to limit contact with others.

"Travellers at these facilities may not leave the facility grounds for any reason unless they have express approval from health officials and are accompanied by health officials."

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At the end of their two-week isolation period, travellers are able to leave the facility and travel to their final destination, given they have a suitable travel plan in place.

Before leaving, however, a final health check is carried out to make sure the traveller does not have a temperature above 38C, has not tested positive for Covid-19 or is a probable case, does not have Covid-19 symptoms and has a suitable travel plan.

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Last week on Friday, the Government announced a suite of major changes to New Zealand's immigration rules which ministers say will help New Zealand families reunite, without increasing the risk of Covid-19.

The requirement for partners and dependants of New Zealand citizens and residents to travel together to return home has been removed.

And the Government has announced it will introduce short-term and long-term criteria for other essential workers' requests.

This means exemptions will be granted for two syndicate teams who will challenge Emirates Team New Zealand for the 36th America's Cup.