Six new cases of COVID-19 have been picked up at the border, but the community remains COVID-free, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced during a press conference on Wednesday.

One previously reported case has now recovered, bringing the total number of active cases in New Zealand to 18.

Four of the six returnees arrived on May 28 from Qatar via a to-be-confirmed transit destination and tested positive on day three of their stays. Another arrived on May 28 from Brazil via Qatar and also returned a positive result on day three.

The sixth case travelled on a direct flight from Malaysia on June 1 and tested positive on arrival.

All are quaranting in Auckland.

Dr Bloomfield said health officials are monitoring the situation in Victoria “closely” as the state nears the end of its preliminary seven-day ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown. With 60 cases now identified in the cluster, local media are anticipating an extension to the restrictions.

Ministry of Health officials will conduct a risk assessment regarding the situation in Victoria on Thursday, Dr Bloomfield said. A decision about the current suspension of quarantine-free travel with the state will be made after ministers have been briefed. The temporary pause is currently set to run until 7:59pm on Friday, June 4.

An update on the test results of travellers who visited Melbourne between May 20 and May 25 is expected on Wednesday afternoon following a data reconciliation.

Dr Verrall also provided some statistics regarding the vaccination rollout, announcing that 235,600 New Zealanders are now fully protected against the virus having received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

A milestone was reached on Friday, with 20,015 jabs performed nationwide – the most doses administered in a single day to date.

The Associate Minister said as of Wednesday night, more than 668,000 doses have been administered in New Zealand.

The rollout is currently tracking 9 percent ahead of schedule, Dr Verrall said. Further stocks of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine also arrived on Wednesday following new advice that the product can be stored at a typical refrigeration temperature.