Two teenagers ran away from authorities after being allowed special dispensation from Covid-19 related quarantine to attend a funeral in Hamilton.

They have since been located and one is in managed isolation while the other is in an agreed community arrangement, director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield confirmed this afternoon.

He did not know how many days their whereabouts were unknown.

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

Speaking to Heather Du-Plessis Allan on Newstalk ZB Tuesday evening, Health Minister David Clark did not seem to know about the runaway pair.


"I'm not aware of the details of that case...I have not had a briefing on that, I will seek a briefing on that."

Clark said he was disappointed to see that the measures he thought were put in place to prevent another outbreak didn't appear to be.

"If it is as you described it, then it underscores my request to suspend compassionate exemptions until we ensure that the system is working as intended."

It comes as the two new cases of Covid-19 were given a special exemption to travel to Wellington on compassionate grounds.

Strict border controls remain in place in New Zealand because Covid-19 is not under control overseas.

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

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Only the travellers who are symptomatic of the virus are placed in quarantine, whereas those who are asymptomatic go to an approved managed isolation facility.

People who are in quarantine after arriving in the country from overseas cannot attend a funeral or tangi.


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.

The new cases, two women aged in their 30s and 40s, are from the same family and recently travelled to New Zealand from the United Kingdom.

They were in managed isolation and permitted to leave on June 7 to travel to Wellington on June 13 in a private vehicle.

The vehicle was dropped to their hotel and they drove to Wellington, where they only had contact with one family member.

Compassionate exemptions are only granted under strict conditions, director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said today.


Everyone granted an exemption is assumed to be a risk of Covid-19 and all precautions are taken to manage that risk.

Today's news underscores the decision to scrap any exemption for those wanting to leave managed isolation for a funeral or tangi.