Coronavirus: Tumultuous day for Government as quarantine botch-up causes major fallout

It was another turbulent day for the Government, and a reminder of how quickly all our hard work could come tumbling down if COVID-19 goes unchecked.

A tearful gym owner, for example, shut down her Pakuranga gym after the Government let two COVID-positive sisters out of quarantine without testing them.

They women met a friend, and that friend then went to Felicia Alkin's gym.

Four kura kaupapa in Rotorua gave parents the option to keep their children home on Thursday after a flight attendant on the plane with the two women visited the city.

They've since tested negative, but it just goes to show the fallout from one botch-up. 

"I know cases will have upset people, and I've certainly been upset. I apologise we ended up in this position," Dr Ashley Bloomfield said on Thursday.

The Director-General of Health was forced to correct the record after insisting the two women, who were granted compassionate leave, drove from Auckland to Wellington with no toilet, food or petrol stops and saw no one on Tuesday afternoon.

The women told health officials on Tuesday night they had seen friends for directions when they got lost. The officials apparently didn't think it was worth passing on.

The Prime Minister was still insistent that they hadn't seen anyone on Wednesday. It was only after National MP Michael Woodhouse asked questions about it that afternoon that the truth was out.

The country is fuming, and the Opposition wants a scalp - specifically Health Minister Dr David Clark's.

Labour tried to hit back on Thursday, revealing National MP Chris Bishop advocated for the women's release - though Bishop says it's a smear to hide Labour's incompetence.

As many as 364 people potentially came into contact with the two sisters - including those on their flight.

Another plane-load of passengers is also being contacted - they flew with New Zealand's newest case from Melbourne. The man in his 60s is quarantined at Jet Park Hotel in Auckland, where Newshub has reported problems in the past.