Man in police custody after escaping Hamilton COVID-19 isolation

Elias Hubbard
July 13, 2020

Individuals returning to New Zealand must stay in quarantine for at least two weeks, and test negative for COVID-19, before they're allowed to leave the managed isolation facility.

Security guards on patrol outside Stamford Plaza in Auckland.

'The first property did not answer, ' head of New Zealand's managed isolation and quarantine program Air Commodore Darryn Webb said. He's not in police custody and will appear in court on Friday.

"Initial information suggests an individual cut through fence ties at the 1.8-metre fence to break out of the facility, and returned to the facility sometime after that".

Investigations at this point indicate there were no close contacts outside the facility, Webb said. He left the hotel after cutting through a 1.8m fence around the facility about 6.30pm, and left for about half an hour. Police have talked to the store, and no one entered it this morning until health officials confirmed it was safe to do so.

New Zealand's laboratories processed 2057 tests yesterday. They are symptom-free.

This latest escape comes just days after several other quarantined arrivals to New Zealand evaded their mandatory isolation.

A person in their 60s was the latest to break out of their guarded hotel confinement after smashing a window in the middle of the night.

The Covid-19 health risk has been assessed as very low by authorities.

It was now 73 days since the last case of Covid-19 acquired locally from an unknown source, Bloomfield said.

A third person has escaped managed isolation. It happened in the town of Hamilton, on the North Island of New Zealand.

In April, the country said it had "eliminated" the virus as case numbers stayed in single figures, and in June, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that nearly all domestic coronavirus restrictions would be lifted.

This brings the total number of confirmed and probable cases in New Zealand to 1544.

'It is completely unacceptable that we have now had two people let everybody else down by breaking the rules, leaving facilities and putting New Zealanders at risk.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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