Auckland University microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles is expecting Covid-19 restrictions to ease today, despite new cases of the virus emerging at the weekend which are not linked to Auckland's existing cluster.
This morning on TVNZ1's Breakfast, Wiles said the man who contracted the illness after completing his 14-day managed isolation stay was "only a matter of time".
Yesterday, there were two new cases of Covid-19 community transmission, both of which were not linked to the Auckland cluster which began last month.
They were instead household contacts of a case reported the day before.
Saturday's case was a recent returnee who arrived in New Zealand from India on August 27 and completed managed isolation.
He returned two negative tests at the facility in Christchurch before returning home to Auckland on September 11.
This morning, Wiles said she didn't believe the man was presenting false positives while in isolation, but rather that negative tests were expected if he had a long incubation period.
"There are quite a few reports in literature now of some people who have incubated the virus for longer than 14 days, so it looks like maybe about one in 100 people will incubate for longer and I think at the moment the record's looking around 24 days," she said.
"This is certainly within the bounds of possibility. I guess the number of cases we've had coming through managed isolation, it was probably only a matter of time before we saw a case like this."
Wiles said the vast majority of people would show to have the illness within the 14 days, but it doesn't mean that if someone has been through managed isolation they are out of the woods.
She commended the man who was reported to have Covid-19 on Saturday for getting tested when he became ill.
There are currently 71 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, and there has been 1464 confirmed cases since the pandemic began.
Auckland is currently in "Alert Level 2.5", with the rest of the country at Level 2.
The Government is expected to make an announcement on the nation's next alert level moves at 1pm today.
"It wouldn't surprise me at all if the restrictions were lowered," Wiles told Breakfast.
"My opinion's always going to be more conservative than the Government - I think we've seen this throughout this pandemic. But the point is that everybody can do their little bit to ensure that if we do see cases moving around the country again, that we can get them under control really fast using our test, trace and isolate strategy."