The way New Zealand's isolation and quarantine facilities are being managed has been significantly changed as the Government looks to regain the trust of New Zealanders.
In addition to a complete review of the system so far, to get the bottom of recent blunders, the Government will be cracking down on those breaking the rules.
Anyone caught breaching isolation rules will face a $4000 fine, or up to six months in jail while the Defence Force presence at isolation facilities has been significantly bolstered.
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Meanwhile, the leadership responsible for New Zealand's first line of defence against Covid-19, border and quarantine restrictions, has also changed.
From now on, Housing Minister Megan Woods will be the minister in charge of isolation and quarantine.
Air Commodore Digby Webb – who had previously been in charge of the coordination of the repatriation flights to New Zealand – will take over as the Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine.
His job has been significantly expanded to include the provision of testing, the enforcement of rules and the coordination of relevant agencies and departments.
The pair fronted media this afternoon for almost an hour, fielding questions about the Government's plan to keep Covid-19 out of New Zealand.
They were pressed about how two Covid-19 positive sisters were able to travel the length of the country, as well as those who flee isolation after being granted compassionate exemptions.
Woods' had a simple response to the blunders: "This is unacceptable and we have acted with urgency to fix the problems we have seen emerge".
This was a view shared by Webb, who said recent events have shown the system has not been 100 per cent successful in managing the isolation facilities.
Woods said: "We fully accept that the expectations we all had about how the managed isolation process works, have not been working, and we are taking action."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had also expressed her "huge disappointment" in the saga and yesterday said it was now her focus to restore the confidence of New Zealanders.
In a bid to bolster these flawed systems and restore that trust that had been lost, Webb and Woods have taken over.
That starts with a complete "end-to-end review into managed isolation and quarantine process", Webb said.
That review will look at the process from the moment a person is granted entry into New Zealand, to their departure after 14 days.
Webb said it will be completed over the coming days, with a final report being delivered next week.
"I understand that every New Zealander would have been concerned about what has eventuated, and will want to know as soon as possible that our processes and procedures are adequate."
He said he and Woods already have an idea as to what some of the issues which led to the blunders were – for example, staffing and resources.
And on that point, he has already got permission to double the on-the-ground New Zealand Defence Force presence from 36 to 72 personnel.
Webb said the number of police at the quarantine sites will increase as well.
Although the process will be rigorous to prevent Covid-19 from significantly returning to New Zealand, those quarantined needed to take personal responsibility as well.
"If they choose not to, there are consequences which may include a $4000 fine or six months in prison," he warned.
Woods also had a strong message for would-be rule breakers: "Every single person who wants to join the team of five million must earn it, just as we earned the right to shift to level 1".
She said $81 million had been spent to date on quarantine facilities, but expected more to be spent as the efforts continued, but could not say how much.
So far, some 20,150 people have been quarantined, meaning the cost-per-person is roughly $4000.
This weekend, Webb said almost 1000 people are expected to leave managed isolation.