There are two Covid-19 cases in managed isolation today as health officials confirm that Samoa's first case of coronavirus transited through New Zealand.
Of the two cases at the border, one person arrived from Moscow (via London, Qatar and Brisbane) on 14 November and the other arrived from Dubai on 14 November.
There are 37 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand. There has been a large number of cases recovered this week, with 29 recoveries to announce today.
Auckland Regional Public Health Service continues to follow up contacts from existing cases that are part of the Defence Force cluster.
"All 23 close contacts of Case A, a defence force worker, had now returned negative day 12 tests and all occupants of Case A's apartment (the Waldorf Apartments) have returned negative day 12 tests.
The genome sequencing has shown that Cases A, B, C, D and E were all part of the same outbreak," the ministry said.
The ministry said wide testing around these known cases allowed the ministry to have greater confidence that there were not possible undetected links in the chain of transmission.
To provide further reassurance, health officials continued to encourage anyone who visited a location of interest during the relevant time period to get tested, ensuring anyone who may be infected could be quickly identified.
It comes after Samoa revealed its first suspected case in a sailor who flew to the island nation from Auckland.
The sailor flew out of Auckland on a repatriation flight to Samoa on Friday, but tested positive yesterday while in managed isolation. A subsequent test this morning was negative.
A Ministry of Health spokeswoman told the Herald the recently reported confirmed case in Samoa - a man who flew on a flight from Auckland - had been in transit through New Zealand.
"We have made contact with our counterparts in Samoa around a case which has been reported in the media. We will provide further details as appropriate," she said.
"At this point, we believe the individual would have been in transit through New Zealand."
Last Friday, 274 passengers flew from Auckland to Samoa on an Air New Zealand flight.
The passengers are currently in quarantine facilities - hotel establishments - around the island nation and are just about to complete their first week in managed isolation.
It has not yet been confirmed which country the man arrived in New Zealand from or what flight or flights he took to get here, before jetting off to Samoa.
Today it became mandatory to wear a mask on Auckland public transport and flights across New Zealand.
The Government introduced the public health measure as another means to combat Covid-19 spreading in the community.
Concern still remains around the November quarantine cluster which continues to puzzle health officials.
The public is still being asked to take a covid test if they were in any of the central Auckland businesses linked to the outbreak.
The cluster emerged more than a fortnight ago with a defence worker stationed at Jet Park quarantine facility contracting the virus from a returning kiwi.
He infected another defence staffer and a civilian who held a workshop with defence personnel. To date all close contacts have returned negative tests.
But the mystery remains how an Auckland University of Technology student came into contact with the first defence worker who contracted the infection.
She subsequently infected a neighbour in her inner-city Vincent St block of flats.
All five cases in the cluster can be genomically linked.
Yesterday the Auckland Regional Public Health Service said it was continuing to follow up contacts from existing cases that were part of the cluster, and no further positive results had come back from close contacts.
Residents at the accommodation facility that the New Zealand Defence Force is using in Auckland where the first infected worker had been staying had all had a second test, and they had all come back negative.
Despite this the ministry continued to encourage anyone who visited a location of interest during the relevant time period to get tested to ensure anyone who may have been infected was quickly identified.
Yesterday there were three new cases of Covid-19, with all infected people flying into the country on the same flight from Dubai on November 14. One of the travellers had started their journey in the United Kingdom.
All returnees tested positive on day three of their stay in managed isolation.
The health ministry said there were now 64 cases of covid in New Zealand.