A mother and her two children who arrived from Switzerland the day the country went into lockdown is relieved they will be "released" today after being quarantined at the Jet Park Hotel for 15 days.

The 35-year-old - who doesn't want to be named - and her two preschoolers have been holed up in a one-bedroom apartment eating cold food, rationing nappies and 20 minutes of outside activity - under hotel supervision.

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Her mother Yvonne Rutland told the Herald her family was locked up "like prisoners".

"My daughter is desperate. She has literally been in a hotel room with one bedroom with two pre-school children for 15 days.


"She had no hot food for the first three days - everything was cold and it couldn't be re-heated. She was only allowed outside with the children 20 minutes a day -that's worse than being in prison," Rutland said.

The woman said their original room had two beds but no window, so a few days later she asked to be moved into another room with a window and a Juliet balcony - so they had some fresh air.

"I have been sleeping with my 4-year-old son on chairs and things, but the food was better because we are closer to the kitchen. Last night the three of us ended up with half a roast chicken each. We have three meals a day but there are hardly any greens or much fruit," she said.

The family was moving back to New Zealand permanently - she was about to start a new job as an optometrist at the end of this month. Her Swiss husband is taking care of his 85-year old mother and hopes to join them in New Zealand later.

Her parents had organised a self-contained flat for her and the children to self-isolate at near their home at Langs Beach in Northland. Rutland said the family has found the most frustrating thing is the lack of communication between the health authorities.

"Yesterday the police came to our house in Northland looking for (my daughter) to do a security check. They didn't know she hadn't been released - which is ridiculous. I am actually truly worried the authorities are actually losing people.

"I'm surprised my daughter hasn't gone mad, I would hate to be stuck in a hotel room with two pre-schoolers. I would be surprised if I had two children left by now," the grandmother said.

Watch: Family's hilarious coronavirus lockdown music video. Video / Supplied

The woman's son had a slight cold and a throat and ear infection before they boarded their flight to New Zealand but was given the "all clear" to travel by their doctor. When they landed in New Zealand at 4 o'clock in the morning on March 25, they had a test for Covid-19 and were immediately sent to the Jet Park hotel for 14 days.


The results came back negative five days ago but the family was forced to remain in quarantine.

'We were told by a Ministry of Health worker we had to stay here no matter what the results were. I mean it's slightly tricky, it was the first day of lockdown, so it was new for everybody. There was general confusion about what was happening I found myself saying the same thing to different people all the time," she said.

But she is grateful to all the nurses and hotel staff who are working "incredibly hard" and "doing the best they can".

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"The precautions they have taken to keep everyone safe has been great. I am so glad New Zealand has gone into lockdown and responded quickly.

"But I don't think they were particularly prepared at the start because it happened so quickly. They are still learning because after five days I am still asking when can we be let go? No one ever responded. If there was bit more communication shared things would be a lot better."

The woman and her children are looking forward to joining her parents at Langs Beach.

Group of five fined $1,652 for breaching social distancing rules by playing a game of backyard cricket. Video / Facebook

"We can't wait to sit on chairs around the dinner table, eat good food and be at the beach away from other people so we can be safe in our little bubble."