Four people in managed isolation at an Auckland hotel are under 72-hour room detention after a fellow traveller started showing signs of Covid-19.

A woman at the Novotel Auckland Airport Hotel has told the Herald she was one of four identified as coming into close contact with a man suspected of having the infection.

He was due to undergo a test this morning.

The woman said once the man came to the attention of health authorities, his movements were retraced on the hotel's CCTV. Despite taking great pains to keep her bubble intact and not interacting closely with anyone else, she says she has been ordered to stay in her room without natural sunlight or fresh air until Sunday when test results are due back.


"I didn't even speak to this man," says the woman who the Herald has agreed not to identify.

"I've seen him in the smoking area but he was at least 20m away. Look, I don't even know his name!"

She said she was approached by military personnel posted at the hotel around 5pm and told the man, believed to have travelled from Vietnam, had signs of infection and was being moved to a different quarantine facility.

There had been a review of the in-house surveillance which was used to identify anyone who had come into contact with him. She was one of four people potentially deemed at risk.

At this stage she was told it would be necessary to stay in her room for 48 hours. Today that increased to 72 hours. Despite this, the woman was also told there was no need for a fresh Covid test. She had tested negative earlier in the week.

The four isolated travellers - including one who is expecting a child - were confined to tiny rooms, some without natural light. This was playing havoc on their mental health.

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"I went through a panic attack and I'm feeling extremely scared. I feel anxious and I'm in my room climbing the walls. The woman who is pregnant is suffering from extreme anxiety and claustrophobia. She's freaking out. The best nursing staff can do for her is tell her to read a help sheet and call the mental health team. That can't possibly be good for her unborn child."

She was critical of the strict measures being imposed and wanted the public to know there were harsh measures that seemed to be imposed in an inconsistent manner.


"I find it inhumane really. We are New Zealand citizens. We have come back home for our safety. Instead we've been treated like we're in prison."

A Covid-19 national response spokesman said there were no hotels in Auckland that currently had restrictions on any movement.

Last night, the Novotel Ellerslie was temporarily placed into lockdown for two hours and lifted when a sick traveller was transferred to a quarantine area.