Coronavirus: Still two cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand

There are no new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced on Wednesday. Two active cases remain in the country.

Speaking at her press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted to an "unacceptable failure of the system" - and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said he was "taking responsibility". 

According to the MoH's COVID-19 tracking site, there are currently 1156 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New Zealand, two active cases and 22 deaths. 

An additional significant cluster - Matamata - has now closed. This means four significant clusters remain open.

On Tuesday it was revealed our 24-day run as coronavirus-free was ended by two women who had travelled from the UK.

One of the women is in her 30s, and the other in her 40s. They arrived in the country together on June 7 and stayed at the Novotel - a managed isolation facility in the central Auckland suburb of Ellerslie.

However they were then were allowed to leave on compassionate grounds to travel to a funeral in Wellington on June 13 - despite exhibiting "mild symptoms" on the day they travelled.

On Monday 15 they had testing done at the Wellington community-based assessment centre  and they returned the positive tests on Tuesday morning.

Today, Ardern says this is an "unacceptable failure of the system".

 "It should never have happened, and it can't be repeated again," she says.

"We required not one but two tests to be undertaken of those in facilities - one at day three and one at day 12. That should have happened in the cases we learned about yesterday. It did not, and there are no new excuses."

Dr Bloomfield says he is "taking responsibility" for ensuring this does not happen again.

"In this instance, these individuals should have been tested prior to leaving the managed isolation facility," he says.

"We have put in place a number of actions to provide the public and Government assurance that anyone arriving into New Zealand does not pose any risk from COVID-19."

The Ministry of Health says the two women remain in self-isolation and are "doing well".

"At this point, there are 320 identified close contacts. The majority of these will have been contacted by the end of the day. All of these people will be encouraged to get a test. We are confident there was no contact made with anyone on the journey between Auckland and Wellington," it says in a statement.