Australian who flew to NZ while awaiting coronavirus test result responds to critics

An Australian man who flew to New Zealand while awaiting a coronavirus test result says he didn't expect it to be positive.

Plane (file image). Source: Thinkstock

The man in his 60s flew from Brisbane and arrived in Wellington on Air New Zealand flight NZ828 at 12.05am on Saturday.

The man was unwell while in Australia but was symptom-free when he arrived in the country. He had been tested for Covid-19 and was awaiting his results when he made the decision to fly - a decision which has been strongly criticised by the Ministry of Health.

Today a statement was posted by the man and his wife on the Facebook page of the Australian dance school where he works outlining what happened.

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Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield gave an update on Covid-19 in New Zealand after two more confirmed cases brought the national total to eight on March 16. Source: 1 NEWS

The post states how the man attended an unexpected family funeral in France shortly before he went to visit his son in Wellington on Saturday.

Although showing no symptoms, the man was tested on his arrival back from France to Australia and, after receiving no recommendations from health officials in Australia, he continued with his trip to Wellington while still awaiting the test result.

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"Not long after arriving in New Zealand, we received the news that he had tested positive to Covid-19," the Facebook statement reads.

"Immediately we returned to our hotel, quarantined ourselves and contacted local health authorities.

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Visitors found breaching coronavirus quarantine measures will be deported, the PM warned today. Source: 1 NEWS

"Our decision to travel to New Zealand was made with the best of intentions and with the best information available in Australia or New Zealand before we departed.

"Travel restrictions and mandatory isolation only came into effect in either country at midnight on Sunday 15th March.

"Had these restrictions been in place or had Andre had any idea that he was carrying the disease, despite feeling fit and well, we would not have travelled."

Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had strong words for those not following New Zealand's travel restrictions after yesterday's announcement.

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The Prime Minister says people who refuse to self-isolate will be deported. Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Ardern says people who refuse to self-isolate for 14 days when arriving in the country will be deported.

"Remember that anyone who is deported faces serious and ongoing consequences, including high chances of being refused future visa applications here and overseas," she said.

"I consider this a warning to all those who chose to come to New Zealand: We take our role of being hospitable hosts very seriously, but in turn we ask that visitors reciprocate.

"We will look after you if you look after us.

"If you come here and have no intention to follow our requirements to self-isolate, frankly, you are not welcome and you should leave before you are deported."