A quarantined traveller has been caught trying to escape from an Auckland hotel after tying bedsheets together to scale four storeys down.
The man had been deported from Australia on September 16, and tested negative on day three and day 12 of his stay. He is on day 12 today.
The bedsheet ladder was discovered at 8.20am today
by on-site security, said Air Commodore Darryn Webb, head of managed isolation and quarantine.
The man - who had been deported from Australia earlier this month - was swiftly taken into custody by police.
Public Health deems the Covid-19 risk to the public to be low.
"At approximately 8.24am as the matter was being investigated, the occupant of the room presented himself at the front gate," Webb said.
"He was immediately taken into custody by police and he currently remains at the facility under questioning.
"So far, we have been unable to establish what time the man absconded the facility."
Inquiries are underway, including a CCTV review to establish he man's movements in the time he was outside the facility.
Security at the facility has been beefed up since the incident, Webb said.
"While this person's exact movements are still being determined, immediate enquiries were conducted in the vicinity, which have not established any particular businesses or properties entered by the abscondee at this point," he said.
"The police investigation is at an early stage, and initial indications are that this person has absconded by exiting via a fourth story window and climbing down a makeshift rope, which is clearly an extremely dangerous act.
"This person has put themselves and others at potential risk and their actions were unacceptable. Wilfully leaving our facilities will not be tolerated, and the appropriate action will be taken."
The deportee has been asymptomatic throughout his 12-day stay at the Ramada.
It comes after it was revealed earlier this evening there are no new Covid-19 cases.
Webb says over 55,000 people have been through New Zealand's MIQs, only 13 of whom have absconded in nine different incidents.