COVID-19: National's Chris Bishop says something has 'clearly gone wrong' at Pullman Hotel after latest community case

National's COVID-19 response spokesperson Chris Bishop says something has "clearly gone wrong" at the Pullman Hotel after the latest community case came from there.

The person completed their managed isolation at the Pullman Hotel and returned three negative tests before leaving. They then tested positive five days out of managed isolation while isolating at home.

Bishop says this further strengthens the case for segregating high-risk and low-risk arrivals into dedicated managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) hotels.

"Something has clearly gone wrong at the Pullman, and there are still legitimate concerns about many other practices at MIQ facilities across the country," he says in a statement on Saturday.

"Continued mingling between cohort arrivals, and a lack of separation between arrivals from high-risk and low-risk countries need to be sorted out urgently.

"National is calling for a risk-based approach to MIQ. This means, among other things, placing arrivals from high-risk areas, such as the UK, US and South Africa, into dedicated hotels."

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay says the individual who tested positive on Saturday was asymptomatic, had stayed at home and worn a face mask, and the public health risk is low.

The infected person was on the same floor as the other Pullman cases - the Northland woman who tested positive on January 24 and the father-daughter who tested positive on January 27.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) is looking at the timing of the infections as it could be transmitted via being at the same place at the same time.

It is also looking at whether to remove common areas, like exercise space. It's mindful of the need for people to exercise, "but we have to balance that against keeping other guests, staff and general public safe".

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has previously said Pullman Hotel cases were likely to be transmitted via a surface or being at the same place within a short time.

"I still don't have an update on the specifics of how it [a previous case] was transferred," he said on January 26.

"The advice I have had so far is that ventilation, while possible, is still one of the less likely potential avenues of transmission between the two people and it's more likely to have been via a surface or them being in the same place within a short time of one another."

The hotel will be deep-cleaned and the MoH will review whether the hotel can be used again.