A man who tried to escape Covid-19 quarantine in an Auckland hotel is due to appear in court.

The man tried to flee on Saturday night by setting off a fire alarm.

Police arrested him a short time later in connection to a mental health incident.

A police spokesperson today said he was now due to appear in the Auckland District Court "in relation to a charge of giving a false alarm of fire".


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A witness, Jon Philip Smith, who arrived in Auckland on May 19 from Brisbane and is also in isolation at the Rydges Hotel on Federal St, said the man tried to run away yesterday but was detained by six police officers.

Kiwi travellers returning from overseas are placed in two-week mandatory isolation at one of 13 Auckland hotels to stop the virus from spreading.

Smith, 68, said people in the hotel are being denied exercise they badly need because of a shortage of security officers and that social distancing protocols were not observed when the fire alarm was activated.

He said people were "clearly getting fed up" and said hotel staff told him this was not the first time someone had tried to escape.

"The kitchen staff told me that even last week, there were people who escaped but were found and brought back to the hotel," Smith said.