16 June 2020: Two new cases of COVID-19 were reported in New Zealand.
Two New Zealand citizens who arrived from the UK on 7 June and were allowed out of quarantine early on 13 June were not tested for COVID-19 before they left quarantine. They drove from Auckland to Wellington and were tested on 14 June - at which time both tested positive.
This highlighted a gap in New Zealand's quarantine service. Previously it had been announced that new arrivals would be quarantined for 14 days and be tested on day 3 and day 12 of their quarantine. It seems this has not been happening at all facilities.
Concerns have also been raised about those in quarantine mingling. People with only a few days to go being allowed to congregate with those who have only just arrived in New Zealand.
Today it was announced that over 200 people had been allowed out of quarantine early and there are no records about who had been tested for COVID-19 and who hadn't.
This is a failure of New Zealand's quarantine system.
Measures are now being put in place to ensure that the requirements of quarantine are followed by those organizations providing the service.
The negative: we do not know if there were people with COVID-19 allowed into New Zealand. Only time will tell if new clusters emerge.
The positive: the failure of the quarantine service has been identified. This means before the borders are opened to international students and foreign nationals wanting to come to New Zealand, the service will be strengthened to ensure the safety of all.