A woman is likely to face police charges after attempting to abscond twice in two days from a managed isolation facility in Auckland.
About 1am this morning, on-site security intercepted a woman attempting to abscond from the Grand Millennium Hotel through a fire exit.
"As a result of police speaking to the woman and making enquiries it was established that the women had absconded the previous night on October 8 between 1.07am and returned at 3.09am," said head of managed isolation and quarantine Darryn Webb.
Normally all fire exits that are not able to be monitored by CCTV, or that are not alarmed, are monitored by security guards stationed near them.
"Unfortunately a local decision was taken which meant that those guards were elsewhere on that evening," Webb said.
"Police are continuing to review CCTV footage to account for her movements during this time and charges are likely to be laid. "
CCTV shows the woman has walked in and around the inner city.
This morning she was intercepted by security at the facility as she attempted to abscond for a second time.
She was swabbed this morning and tested negative.
The woman arrived from Dubai on October 7. She also tested negative on October 1 in a pre-flight test and was cleared to fly. Her next test is scheduled for tomorrow, which will coincide with her routine day 3 test.
A spokesman at the Grand Millennium declined to comment and referred media queries to the Ministry of Health.
Webb said a public health assessment was ongoing while interviews and investigations were continuing in order to identify the nature of any contact with individuals outside the managed isolation facility.
"However, it is reassuring that testing prior to arrival and also this morning is negative and that she is asymptomatic. Standard Covid-19 procedures were followed by police and staff who were in contact with the individual.
"A permanent security presence has been established outside her room to ensure she remains at the facility."
Webb said that while absonding incidents were rare, "we treat them extremely seriously".
"While I'm confident that we have strong security measures in place, these hotels are not prisons and this individual has willfully absconded once, and then attempted to repeat this the following night when she was caught by security.
"There are rules in place for every single returnee and we expect people to follow these during their 14 day stay in managed isolation. This is so they can return to the community safely, while ensuring the safety of all New Zealanders."
There have been nearly 60,000 people through managed isolation and quarantine and only 10 incidents involving 14 people absconding from managed isolation, Webb said.
Suzanne Marie Derrett, 43, allegedly scaled two fences at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland's CBD and made off on foot. She was found nearly two hours later, two blocks away on Anzac Ave.
A 32-year-old man slipped through a gap in fencing around the smoking area at Auckland's Stamford Plaza. He went on a 70-minute excursion, which included shopping at a central city Countdown supermarket, where he took selfies in the aisles. He returned to the hotel, and then tested positive for Covid-19 the next day.
Queenstown man Martin James McVicar, 52, broke out of the Distinction Hotel in Hamilton. McVicar allegedly cut through fence ties and walked 10 minutes to buy beer and wine. He was jailed at Spring Hill Prison and charged with failing to comply with Covid-19 public health laws. He was also charged over intentional damage to a television
at the hotel.
Five people escaped from Distinction Hotel in Hamilton. A 37-year-old woman and three young people were found and detained around 8pm that night, and the fifth, a 17 year-old boy, was arrested in Auckland at 4.40am the following day.
A man escaped Sudima Rotorua through a fence and spent half an hour our of the facility.
The man was taken to hospital for assessment, because of concerns for his wellbeing.