Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins says health officials have been positioned outside the Auckland city apartment block at the centre of the latest Covid-19 scare after residents were able to come and go as they pleased.
Hipkins yesterday announced a new case of Covid-19 in the community, with no obvious source of transmission.
The woman, who is in her 20s, lives at the Vincent Residences in central Auckland, next door to the
Grand Millennium, a managed isolation hotel.
Hipkins said at today's 2pm coronavirus media briefing that he understood there would be public health officials at Vincent St last night but it "became apparent" this morning that hadn't happened.
"It would have been nice if there were people there right the way through," he said.
Residents of the apartment building were told during the Government's press conference yesterday that they should self-isolate and get a test.
But this morning, residents outside the building told Stuff they had not been told they could not leave.
When the Herald visited this morning, health officials could be seen in the lobby and a police car with officers inside was parked across the road.
Ahsan Manzooll left the Vincent St building this morning to get milk and coffee, Stuff reported.
"We haven't been told that we're not allowed to leave," he said.
Another resident, who was returning from buying groceries, said he had only been told there had been an outbreak and he needed to get tested. He was told instructions would follow but he had not heard anything.
One resident told RNZ he was not impressed with how health officials had handled the situation.
"Friends of mine phoned me about 2pm when I was out. No Covid tracer notification, no nothing. So I got home at just after 3pm - there were no signs, no people, no nothing. I'd already tried to go through two drive-through testing units. And they were all closed, said that they were 'too full' even though I mentioned I was from this building."
He believed some people had quickly moved out of the building when they heard the news yesterday.
"When I arrived back here, because I was out on the road, I saw people leaving with suitcases and I thought 'what's going on?'" he said.
There were no new community cases of Covid-19 announced at today's briefing. Auckland will remain at alert level 1 and the city's central business district will reopen to workers, but Hipkins urged "constant vigilance".
On Monday, Hipkins will take an order to Cabinet seeking to make mask use on public transport in Auckland mandatory, including flights going into and out of the city.
He is also looking into making it mandatory to scan into some events.