New Zealand confirms two new COVID-19 cases after remaining coronavirus-free for 24 days

New Zealand said on June 16 that it has two new cases of the coronavirus, both related to recent travel from the UK, ending a 24-day streak of no new infections in the country.

New Zealand lifted all social and economic restrictions except border controls last week, after declaring it had no new or active cases of the coronavirus, one of the first countries in the world to return to pre-pandemic normality.

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

The health ministry said the new cases were related to the border as a result of recent travel from the UK. Both cases are connected, it said in a statement.

Further details were expected in a news conference later on June 16.

New Zealand has so far had 22 deaths from the virus.