New Zealand no longer coronavirus-free as new cases appear

New Zealand can no longer declare that it is free from the coronavirus.

Two women who recently flew to the island country from London to see a dying parent have tested positive for COVID-19.

The pair of new cases has now sparked a round of testing in New Zealand for anybody who might have been close to the women.

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That includes passengers and staff on their flights, which arrived via Brisbane in Australia, other people at the Auckland hotel they initially stayed at in quarantine, and a family member they met in Wellington.

A windsurfer reels in his kite at New Brighton Beach in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Tuesday, June 9. Two new coronavirus cases have appeared in the country after officials said there were no longer any. (AP)

A windsurfer reels in his kite at New Brighton Beach in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Tuesday, June 9. Two new coronavirus cases have appeared in the country after officials said there were no longer any. (AP)

The women will remain in isolation in Wellington and have delayed the funeral of their parent until they have recovered.

Before they were tested, the women had been given an exemption to leave quarantine on compassionate grounds and had traveled from Auckland to Wellington by car, according to the AP.

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But Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said that as part of their travel plan, the women had no contact with any people or any public facilities on their road trip.

Until Tuesday, New Zealand had gone more than three weeks without any new cases and had declared that everybody who had contracted the virus had recovered, aside from the 22 people who died.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.