New Zealand's Olympic contingent will not be given special exemptions to leave managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) early to attend the funeral of Kiwi cyclist Olivia Podmore.
Podmore died on Monday after a troubling social media post about the pressure of elite sport. She was 24 years old.
Newshub understands Podmore's funeral will be held on Friday.
However many of Podmore's friends and former teammates, who are currently in MIQ after the Tokyo Olympics, will not be permitted to attend the funeral, Health Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed on Wednesday.
"First of all, can I just acknowledge the tragic situation, and how difficult it will be for them to be in MIQ for that period whilst they're also coming to terms with what has happened," Hipkins says.
"They are not the only people that find themselves in these circumstances. Tragically, people end up in MIQ in really difficult personal circumstances.
"The Olympians will be treated the same as everybody else who goes into MIQ where a tragedy has happened. If they apply for some form of exemption, they would be treated exactly the same as others.
"I would note that the Olympians are coming home from Japan, where the COVID-19 situation is concerning."
At last count, Japan recorded nearly 13,000 new cases of COVID-19 as the nation continues to battle an outbreak of the virus.
Hipkins acknowledged "it will be difficult" for Podmore's friends in MIQ, but was adamant compassion would be shown towards those suffering in the wake of her death.
"What our MIQ team are very good at doing is working with real compassion towards people who find themselves in MIQ, isolated at a time when they really need to be with people.
"I don't want to comment on any specific case, but they have for example made sure that they can have video links to funerals and memorial services. They've provided counselling, [and] access to counselling where required.
"They do a lot to support people, to surround them with love, even though they can't actually be physically with other people."