The devastating impact of returning New Zealanders unable to say goodbye to their loved ones due to managed isolation (MIQ) requirements has been highlighted in a video posted online.
Posted on Facebook by Tipene Funerals, the 30 second TikTok video shows a funeral party arriving at a managed isolation facility, so a returning woman in MIQ can say goodbye to her late mother.
As she is comforted by family members from behind the fence, the woman is visibly emotional as she farewells her mother from a distance.
"Not often do you see funeral directors cry, but this broke us too," Tipene Funerals said.
"Quarantine for 14 days is a must when arriving into the country for the purpose of safety and to prevent any spread of COVID. We feel the aroha for all that experience loss during this trying time."
Newshub has spoken to several returning New Zealanders who have missed out on saying goodbye to a loved one. Rael Kwasnik, returning from Sydney, said his dad died while he was waiting to hear if he could leave MIQ early on compassionate grounds.
Kwasnik's application to attend his father's funeral was also rejected on Wednesday afternoon. According to the Government's MIQ website, managed isolation exemption applications can only be granted in "exceptional" circumstances.
"The need to protect the New Zealand public from COVID-19 will always be the primary consideration.
"We are unlikely to approve applications to attend a funeral or tangihanga where there may be multiple people gathered. This would create an unacceptable risk of potential COVID-19 transmission."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday she didn't think the Government was being too hard-nosed when it came to compassionate exemptions.