An Australian man who has been isolated on both sides of the Tasman has revealed how lax New Zealand facilities were compared to our Aussie neighbours - including allegations of at least one drunken party in an hotel.
New Zealand-born Geoff Plunkett returned to Auckland on April 23 to mourn the death of his aunt.
Arriving in the country at the tail end of lockdown, which lifted four days later, Plunkett said guests were free to socialise and roam their central Auckland hotel.
Recent arrivals to New Zealand - who hadn't been tested for Covid 19 - were even mingling with Aucklanders during their recreation walks at Myers Park, he said.
Shepherded single file in a 10-strong group by two Auckland Airport aviation security staff, Geoff said the travellers were then left to their own devices.
"The two guards would stand chatting at the bottom of the park and told us to return in 35 minutes," he said.
"That was it, the guards did not move. I could've gotten in the car and driven off and come back."
Locals in the area had no idea those in managed isolation, many of whom weren't wearing masks, were within walking distance, he said.
During the lockdown, when Kiwis were told to only leave the house for essential reasons, many relished the opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise.
"We were mingling with people who had no idea we were in quarantine," he said.
"They had no idea at all who we were unless we told them."
Plunkett said he didn't want to criticise the staff who handled those in isolation - they were all cordial and potentially putting their health on the line. But he did take aim at the lax protocols in place.
While children in managed isolation weren't allowed on the playground, many would climb on to a low-limbed tree where local kids would also play, chancing cross-contamination of the virus.
The protocol of the daily excursions, which would later have another layer of security added before being narrowed to public pens, struck Plunket as "silly, even dangerous".
"It blew me away. I don't need to be a health expert to see that it could've been catastrophic."
When travellers returned to their central city hotel, they were able to roam its hallways and foyer with no security in sight, he said.
Guests, who rarely donned masks, could easily interact with each other and move between rooms.
Alcohol could be delivered to the hotel and boxes of empty bottles littered the hallway, he said.
"There were people locked in their room with nothing to do and free alcohol - what do you think is going to happen? There were whole crates of alcohol empty."
Guests were later not permitted to have alcohol delivered from outside the hotel after an alleged drunken party, he said.
Plunkett was not tested for the coronavirus during his two-week quarantine and said a nurse only rang his room intermittently to ask "are you okay," or to take his temperature.
Now back in Australia and quarantined in a Sydney hotel, Plunket said the reins are much tighter on the other side of the Tasman.
"You have to wear a mask as soon as you arrive at Sydney airport, all the way into your room," he said.
"As soon as you're walked in here, you're in your room you don't get a swipe pass. You face a heavy fine if you leave your room."
Guests are not allowed out of their room to exercise and the hotel's hallways are constantly guarded.
Plunkett will be tested on the 10th day of his stay.
While the Government's clear messaging on the Covid alert levels was spot-on, Plunkett said the managed isolation protocols could be strengthened in New Zealand.
"In Auckland, you relied on people's goodwill. Most people will do the right thing, but all you need is one person not to.
"You can't, in a sense, take any risks and rely on the goodwill of anyone ... all of the good work of the team of five million would be undone."
Plunket stressed that he didn't want to criticise the New Zealand Government, but thought it could learn from Australia's strict example.
"I will have completed four weeks in hotel quarantine and believe the Aussie system, with its complete room lockdown, is warranted and the only way to ensure the border does not leak the virus."