Woman in mandatory isolation jumps fence and escapes

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read

The New Zealand government won't be upping security at border isolation quarantine facilities despite an escapee fleeing her hotel in a dangerous security breach.

A 43-year-old woman, who arrived from Brisbane last month, escaped from her 14-day mandatory isolation at the Pullman Hotel in central Auckland, on Saturday night.

She was apprehended by police a few blocks away, two hours later.

The Pullman Hotel. Source: Google Maps/AAP
A woman who arrived from Brisbane escaped from her 14-day mandatory isolation at the Pullman Hotel. Source: Google Maps

Housing Minister Megan Woods, who has responsibility for the quarantine regime alongside defence officials, said "it was a climbing the fence situation".

"She was outside in a common area, as she was allowed to be, and she climbed a fence," she said on Sunday.

The woman had previously tested negative to COVID-19, but her walkabout has necessitated a contact tracing effort.

Ms Woods said police are considering charges.

"If she was to be charged under the COVID Act, then the maximum penalty is six months imprisonment or a $A3,766 fine."

The breach hasn't forced Ms Woods into a rethink of security.

The woman had previously tested negative to COVID-19, but her walkabout has necessitated a contact tracing effort.
The woman had previously tested negative to COVID-19, but her walkabout has necessitated a contact tracing effort. Source: AAP

"We will have robust procedures, but at the end of the day we're asking individuals to follow the rules," she said.

"We are not sitting up patrolled perimeters.

"We're not putting up unclimbable walls at these hotels.

"We're asking those (wanting to) rejoin the team of five million to follow the rules."

Health authorities announced new three cases of the deadly virus on Sunday, all of whom are in the border regime.

New Zealand currently has 21 active cases of COVID-19, with one in hospital.

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