17 Jun 2020

Ministry confirms women with Covid-19 did stop on trip

8:41 pm on 17 June 2020

The Ministry of Health says the two latest confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand did have contact with someone after getting lost on their drive from Auckland to Wellington.

Michael Woodhouse

Michael Woodhouse made allegations about the trip in Parliament today. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

After leaving quarantine in a car provided by friends, the two women got lost on the Auckland motorway system.

The friends who lent them the car met with them and guided them to the right motorway, and were in physical contact for about five minutes.

The National Party's health spokesperson, Michael Woodhouse, told Parliament this afternoon that the pair had hugged and kissed someone on their travels.

That was after Dr Ashley Bloomfield said they had no contact with anyone.

The ministry didn't confirm if they hugged or kissed their friend, and said it received the update this afternoon.

Woodhouse told Parliament a "reliable but confidential source" had informed him that story was "not all as it seems".

"They did become disorientated and lost their way coming out of Auckland and needed help to get on the right road," Woodhouse said.

"They called on acquaintances who they were in close contact with and that was rewarded with even more close contact - a kiss and a cuddle."

Responding in Parliament, Health Minister David Clark said he had seen "no evidence" of the claims and would be "deeply concerned" if they were true.

The Ministry of Health says authorities have also been informed that friends made contactless deliveries of food or care packages while the women were in self-isolation.

The friends took all precautions to deliver the food while maintaining physical distancing.

The ministry says there is no risk to the community from the interactions.

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