Guests at managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facility the Novotel Auckland Airport have had their stays extended by health officials.
It comes as they await the results of genome sequencing of two positive day 12 COVID-19 cases at the facility, which were announced on Monday. The two cases arrived on Monday, June 14 - one from Moscow and the other from Dubai.
"It is standard protocol that any cases detected after day three are investigated further, in particular to rule out in-facility transmission," a press release from the Ministry of Health reads.
"Investigations are currently underway by Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS). Whole genome sequencing is also currently underway to establish the strain and if there is a genomic relationship between the cases. Results are expected in the next 48 hours."
The extended stay means the departure of some returnees will be delayed, with affected guests told the news on Monday night. Some guests were scheduled to leave the facility then, while the remainder were due to depart on Tuesday or Wednesday.
The Ministry of Health says this is "not an extraordinary measure".
"We do sometimes extend the stay of returnees, based on public health requirements, when health officials need time to investigate cases.
"The safety of returnees and that of all New Zealanders is our highest priority. We are committed to keeping New Zealand free of COVID-19 and must be confident that everyone who undergoes managed isolation is well enough to return to their communities.
"We recognise the inconvenience this causes people and wish to thank the returnees in the facility for their understanding."