Mourners who went to a wake with a US traveller who had just arrived in New Zealand say they are in the dark about whether they are at risk of contracting Covid-19.

Attendees at the gathering in Auckland on Sunday claimed that the woman was not tested until the following day - despite a negative test being one of the requirements for compassionate leave.

Her test result is still not known, and some people who went to the event have been reluctant to be in public or go to work until they know it is negative.

They have been told by officials that they should only get tested for Covid-19 if they have symptoms.


The Ministry of Health has been asked to comment.

The wake for the woman's father in Greenhithe was attended by around 40 people. According to people at the event, the woman was very cautious, wearing a mask and gloves and keeping her distance from other mourners.

She was granted an exemption to attend her father's wake under old rules which allowed people who had not shown symptoms to get leave to attend funerals.

On June 9, the Ministry of Health banned all travellers from going to a funeral or tangi. Instead, they were limited to small gatherings of family, and only after seven days of quarantine and a negative test.

On Tuesday, Government tightened the rules again and suspended all compassionate leave.

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Today, director general of health Ashley Bloomfield reiterated that all people would be tested before they left quarantine or isolation facilities.

This policy was meant to be in place already, but a growing number of cases around the country showed that it had not always been followed by health officials.


In the worst case, two sisters who travelled from the UK were granted compassionate leave to travel to Wellington for their mother's funeral, and were not tested before leaving.

The two women later tested positive for Covid-19, and the ministry found they had come into contact with more than 300 people. Nearly all of those people have been tracked and the "vast majority" had been tested, Bloomfield said today. So far, no one else had tested positive.

In all, 200 people have been granted compassionate leave by the ministry. Bloomfield did not know how many were tested before they were able to leave isolation or quarantine facilities, but said it would be followed up and checked.