Apartment dwellers in Auckland are living in fear their bubbles have been compromised as people book flats for short stays during the Covid-19 alert level 4 lockdown.

A resident in a central Auckland apartment building says she is terrified to leave her home after running into a number of people who were only staying in the building for a night or two during lockdown.

She says one of the apartment owners, who does not live in the building, has been letting his flat online for short stays, using a lockbox so people can retrieve the key.

The central Auckland woman, who did not want to be named, says it is shocking that sites such as Booking.com and Airbnb can be used to book short stays during lockdown, compromising the safety of everyone in the building.


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"The whole point of lockdown is that you have to stay in one place the whole time," she told the Herald.

The building where she lives includes shared facilities such as lifts and a communal laundry, which she says have been used by people booking apartments for just one night.

"There are signs everywhere in the building and on the door to the outside saying 'no visitors' to the building. Our families can't come and visit us. How can these people come and stay here?"

The building has 42 homes and more than 100 people living in it.

"There's no tracking of these people; we don't know if they bring Covid-19 into the building," she said.

The woman says she has spoken to several people in the building's communal area who were clearly only staying for a night or two.



"It stays on the surface. They're potentially contaminating the building. The landlord doesn't even come here. He advertises online and uses a lockbox. He is just collecting the money, no physical contact with these people, no risk at all for him, while putting us at risk."

The worried resident says others in the building have compromised immunity and are being put at serious risk by what she calls "disaster tourists".

"The stupidity of them coming into the city at this time is unreal," she added.

"Three other places in this street are letting rooms overnight. This is not just our problem.

"They are getting away with it because people can't assemble. I can't go knock on neighbours' doors and ask them to inform them. We can't visit each other. People need to know this is going on."

The apartment is listed on Booking.com as a "beautifully decorated, spacious and comfortable apartment" within a minute's walk of the Sky Tower.

The listing does not appear to have been update with information about lockdown rules.

The price of the apartment starts at $165 per night, for two people.

The building manager, Robert Murphy, told Stuff he had counted five sets of guests arriving since the lockdown began.

He said three different people had come to spend the night on three separate occasions, for just one night.

When he confronted one of them, they told him they just "needed a night away from home".

"We're going though disinfection every day but we've got random people turning up to spend a night," he said.

Both the building manager and the resident say they have filed police complaints.

The Herald contacted police who said they had no details about the specific address.

"Police encourage anyone with concerns about people breaching Alert Level 4 restrictions to complete an online form on 105.police.govt.nz," they added.

Booking.com has been contacted for comment.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website