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Less than a day after Covid-19 returned to New Zealand shores, media from around the world weighed in on our fight against the virus and how it got back into the country.

Two women who travelled from the United Kingdom to Wellington for a parent's funeral tested positive for Covid-19, breaking New Zealand's case-free streak of 24 consecutive days.

But while the world praised New Zealand last month after eliminating Covid, they've been quick to criticise our response following its return.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on the new Covid-19 cases. Video / Jacinda ardern

NEW ZEALAND IS NO LOCKDOWN SUCCESS STORY - The Telegraph

The Telegraph's Ross Clark took a pot shot, saying it cannot be compared to the UK and highlighted the fact New Zealand had other favourable factors at play.

"It is absurd to compare the UK response to Covid-19 with that of New Zealand. A densely populated country at the heart of international commerce was always going to be more deeply affected than a country out on a limb in the southern ocean, 1000 miles from any other landmass," he wrote.

"New Zealand is a country of rural settlements of low-density suburbs where social-distancing come naturally – as opposed to Britain where huge numbers live in tightly packed housing and commute on crowded tube trains.

"Moreover, when Covid-19 arrived in New Zealand it did so in the middle of summer, when viruses have the lowest chance of spreading."

He also took the time to drop a sheep-related joke, saying: "If New Zealand was going to be devastated by an epidemic of anything it would be scrapie, not Covid 19 – even after a sharp reduction in recent years it still has 27 million sheep, nearly six for every man, woman and child."

Less than a day after Covid-19 returned to New Zealand shores, media from around the world weighed in on our fight against the virus and how it got back into the country. Photo / File
Less than a day after Covid-19 returned to New Zealand shores, media from around the world weighed in on our fight against the virus and how it got back into the country. Photo / File

COVID-19 OUTBREAKS IN NZ AND CHINA HIGHLIGHT STARK CHOICES - The Guardian

The Guardian's Emma Graham-Harrison painted a potentially dark picture for both New Zealand and China, two countries that originally kicked Covid to touch.

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Now both countries have cases again, with The Guardian suggesting New Zealand faces a decision isolating from the world for years, or letting the virus back in in a bid for global inclusion.

"Beijing and New Zealand had both declared themselves Covid-19 free by mid-June, life returning to an enviable normality of schools and shops, work and human contact. It didn't last long.

"The outbreaks have brought home the stark choices facing leaders who have successfully stamped out the virus or contained its transmission. If they want to hold on to that coveted status, their countries face months, perhaps years, sealed off from the world in a way unprecedented in modern times."

UK VISITORS RUIN NEW ZEALAND'S COVID-FREE STATUS, LEAVING KIWIS FUMING - Daily Star

British tabloid threw shade on the two women who tested positive, heaping blame on the pair for "ruining" NZ's Covid-free status.

They also reported Kiwis were fuming, pulling comments from New Zealanders' social media pages.

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"The Pacific nation and its Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had won international praise for appearing to eradicate Covid-19, with no new cases recorded in 24 days thanks to a strict and early lockdown.

"Now they're back to square one ... after two women travelled there from the UK and left their self-isolation facility to drive eight hours to a funeral.

"Many Kiwis are outraged that the women were allowed to leave self-isolation early before they had even been tested.

"One New Zealander said the women with symptoms 'obviously lied to get the exemption'.

"'Way to put the entire country at risk', they said.

"'Come on now, it's not like Brit travellers to flout the laws of the country they're visiting', another commented sarcastically.

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NEW ZEALAND'S FIRST COVID CASES IN 24 DAYS CAME FROM THE UK - BBC

While many overseas media were quick to report on Covid-19's return to New Zealand, the BBC highlighted the women's link to the UK.

"New Zealand has confirmed two new cases of coronavirus, ending a 24-day run of no new infections in the country.

"The cases relate to two women from the same family, both of whom had travelled from the UK and were given special permission to visit a dying parent."