COVID-19: Auckland Finance Now, Americold employees required to isolate over coronavirus concerns

Employees and contractors at two Auckland businesses are required to self-isolate until they're contacted by COVID-19 health officials.

It comes after four community cases of the virus were found in south Auckland on Tuesday. The new cases are all linked to one family with no history of overseas travel.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield made the oral direction under Section 70 of the Health Act, and says it's a "significant and serious" step.

"I require the following people to do two things - isolate at their usual home and not go out to work, and remain isolated until they're contacted by our national contact tracing service and are given further direction."

It applies to employees and contractors of Auckland-based companies Americold in Mt Wellington and Finance Now on Dominion Rd.

The direction also applies to any visitors to those workplaces in the past two weeks, and any people who ordinarily live with those employees, contractors or visitors.

The Mt Wellington branch of Americold is linked to one of the four community COVID-19 cases announced on Tuesday night. Its managing director confirmed to Newshub all employees had been sent home and would be tested for the virus.

It is currently unclear whether Finance Now on Dominion Rd is also connected to these four new cases.

Dr Bloomfield says anyone who may need financial assistance while they isolate should get in contact with Work and Income.

He also announced four probable cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. These cases are linked to Tuesday evening's cases. There is also one new case in managed isolation.

As a result of the community cases, Auckland was placed into alert level 3 lockdown at midday, and the rest of New Zealand at level 2.