New Zealand ends its coronavirus-free run

After returning to normality last week, New Zealand announced on Tuesday (June 16) that it has two new cases of the coronavirus, ending a 24-day streak of no new infections in the country.

The new infections - both related to recent travel from the UK - are a set back to the country, which lifted all social and economic restrictions except border controls last week, declaring it had no new or active cases.

Dr. Ashley Bloomfield is the country's Director-General of health.

"A new case is something that we hoped we wouldn't get, but it is also something we expected and we have planned for. That is why we have geared up, and continue to gear up, our contact tracing at a local level and at a national capacity and capability, as well as having our excellent testing capability, so we can respond rapidly."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had warned that new cases may come up as New Zealanders return home, and some others were allowed in under special conditions.

The two new cases were women aged in their 30s and 40s who visited a dying parent in Wellington.

They are both now self isolating.

It now takes the total number of cases recorded in the country to 1,506.

Deaths from the disease remain at 22.