His escape only lasted 100 metres but a man who escaped from an Auckland isolation hotel today is now facing a criminal charge.

The traveller - who had only spent one day in managed isolation - briefly absconded from a hotel in central Auckland today.

The 32-year-old fled from the Crowne Plaza at about 1pm today - but was apprehended by police after only making it 100 metres from the hotel, which is on Albert St.

Police confirmed the man had co-operated with officers.


"This man will be summonsed to appear in court to face a charge under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act," police said.

This man had been followed by staff at the facility and was apprehended "within a short distance" from the Crowne Hotel in the CBD.

"This apprehension was made a short time after the man left the facility," police said.

"There was no prolonged search involved."

A security guard outside the Crowne Plaza after the brief escape earlier today. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
A security guard outside the Crowne Plaza after the brief escape earlier today. Photo / Sylvie Whinray

Earlier, Air Commodore Darryn Webb said: "Defence Force staff verbally challenged the man as he attempted to follow them out a gate, claiming he was a worker. When asked for identification he allegedly refused, and exited onto Albert St.

"[Aviation Security] and police were immediately alerted, and two Defence Force staff followed the man down Albert St, maintaining a safe distance while doing so until a police officer arrived. The officer was wearing a mask and gloves," Webb said.

The man allegedly failed to stop, and was chased for a short distance and apprehended.

The traveller had arrived from Brisbane yesterday and has not yet received his Covid-19 testing.


His three-day test is scheduled for Saturday.

"As the returnee has yet to be tested, the police officer who arrested him is following all necessary precautions," Webb said.

The man will appear in court but a date has not yet been set.

Escapes from isolation

July 4

Suzanne Marie Derrett, 43, scaled two fences at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland's CBD and made off on foot. She was located by authorities nearly two hours later, two blocks away on Anzac Ave.

Derrett was charged with failing to comply with a Covid-19 order. In court, a medical report said Derrett had been dealing with mental health issues.


She had returned from Brisbane on June 27 and returned a negative test on her third day of isolation. She has admitted fleeing isolation but has yet to be sentenced.

July 7

A 32 year-old man in managed isolation at Auckland's Stamford Plaza slipped through a gap in fencing around the smoking area.

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.

He was expected to be charged and receive a summons to appear in court once he was cleared from quarantine.

The "reckless" breach of isolation led to a significant scaling-up of security at all facilities. A police officer was placed at all hotels, two-metre fences were installed, and stricter checks were introduced for exemptions from isolation or quarantine.


July 9

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.

July 10

A person in their 60s broke a window and escaped from Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre in Mt Wellington, before knocking on residents' doors near the facility during the middle of the night.

The person was returned to the hotel by police and given health and welfare support.


July 24

Five people escaped from Distinction Hotel in Hamilton.

A 37-year-old mum and her four children fled in the hope of getting to the funeral of a relative. They were in managed isolation after flying into New Zealand from Brisbane earlier this month.

Four were found soon after their Friday night dash, while the last person was found in Auckland hours later.

Four of the five all originally appeared in the Hamilton Youth Court on Saturday jointly charged with failing to comply with an order under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020.

They all reappeared in the Youth Court again yesterday afternoon via audiovisual link and all separately entered guilty pleas to the charge.


A 12-year-old who also left the facility has not been charged by police.