Those in managed isolation at a Rotorua hotel have sung the praises of the hotel workers, labelling them "Kiwi heroes".
With some people being against having returning Kiwis isolate in Rotorua, Allen O'Halloran says the saving grace has been the warmth and kindness shown by the staff at the Ibis Hotel.
"The staff are legends. They're Kiwi heroes.
"This managed isolation facility cannot be faulted."
The Whanganui man said the hospitality had made the days fly by and he would miss it. He asked other Kiwis to show the same hospitality.
"We are coming home. Do not slam the door in our faces. Open your arms wide.
"It is vital that there is not a divide; not an 'us and them' mentality. The assumption that we are all infected and contagious on arrival is not only incorrect; it is unfair."
He said he had expected the isolation to be well managed but it exceeded his expectations.
He could think of only two occasions between leaving Qatar on June 18 and arriving in Rotorua two days later when social distancing was not possible.
The first was on the plane from Melbourne to Auckland and the second was on the bus from Auckland to Rotorua.
There is a routine to life in managed isolation.
Every day at 7am and noon there are temperature and symptom checks, done by friendly nurses behind a perspex screen. They are onsite 24/7 and regularly monitor distancing and check for symptoms.
Masks are compulsory when approaching nursing stations, the hotel desk, security staff or at any time when near other people.
Signs and floor markings show the correct distancing. Visitors are allowed on request, and must stand at a distance of 10 metres behind a glass barrier under constant surveillance.
Despite the around-the-clock care and monitoring, staff showed nothing but compassion and good spirits, O'Halloran said.
"This is a place of kindness and understanding where we are made to feel welcome.
"Every day their effort and care remind me what it means to be a Kiwi and to be part of a wider family, a whānau."
He said the managed isolation was a well-oiled machine, well-staffed, and there was frequent and accurate communication.
"This is a safe place."
Another woman at the Ibis said the atmosphere was relaxed and she felt safe with the protocols in place.
She said the hotel staff had been great: the nursing staff, military and security were friendly, approachable and non-intrusive.
She said hotel management had "bent over backwards" to help her and her husband resolve internet issues so they could work while in isolation.
"The whole vibe is generally relaxed and cheerful."
She said comments about the impact tourists isolating in Rotorua would have on tourism in the city left her feeling unwelcome, but the staff onsite stomped out those feelings.
"Everyone has made us very welcome and have tried to help people in any way possible."
Meanwhile, Sophie Brown, 22, who spoke to the Rotorua Daily Post last week about what isolation was like, had been blown away by the community and staff support over the course of her stay.
Brown has had two phone calls from people offering their support since the article was published. Another couple emailed her offering support to others in the hotel.
"Just the offer of help in itself, even if we don't necessarily need anything, just makes us feel a bit more welcome."
Toothbrushes and toothpaste have also been added to the onsite store.
Those managing the facility have upped their communication and actively sought feedback from the guests, she said.
A Lakes District Health Board spokeswoman said those working in the facility all volunteered, with a range of different skillsets to cover the various needs of the guests in the hotels.
Staff numbers vary depending on the day, with more people in there on swabbing days or a reception day.
"Like everyone else working in the facility they are wearing the appropriate PPE at the appropriate times so there's no risk to them contracting Covid-19.
"Because of that there's no need for them to be isolated when they leave the facility."