Ten backpackers who have recently arrived in New Zealand have been knocking on a Tauranga hostel owner's door seeking a place to self-isolate - but with no capacity to accommodate them she is having to turn them away.
Arthouse Backpackers owner Memphis Robson-Frentz is concerned about the number of tourists ending up "on the street" and wants Tauranga City Council to step in and support them.
"Those of us in the frontline businesses are struggling between our hearts, which is where we want to be and being the best hosts in a time when a lot of people from overseas are feeling incredibly isolated and afraid.
"We cannot physically do it [accommodate] because our business is not set up to do it, otherwise, we would."
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After three separate backpackers walked in on Thursday, Robson-Frentz called the council to see if there was anything they could do to help but she was told it was an issue for the Ministry of Health.
"Tauranga City hosts a lot of people from all different places and at the moment we have the kiwifruit industry screaming out for more people.
"We are dealing with a billion-dollar industry and it feels like they just can't be a**** trying to find somewhere for these people to go so they can actually stay in the region and get the kiwifruit going."
She believed there were many people coming into the country who had been "left hanging" after not getting enough information.
"Every bum on a bed is important to us financially of course, but more importantly, they are on their own, they are in an unprecedented situation and they are not sure on whether they should go home or whether they should stay.
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"I don't give a rat's a*** about money, its about people and making sure everyone is safe."
A designated hotel for those tourists, which could accommodate the needs of self-isolation, was what Robson-Frentz thought was the best idea - with the council's financial support.
In response Tauranga City Council services general manager Gareth Wallis said the council would need to be requested by the District Health Board, through the Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, to establish a base like this.
"The DHB is the lead agency for any quarantined individuals who cannot self-isolate. We support the DHB when requested."
But Toi Te Ora Medical Officer of Health, Dr Phil Shoemack said Public Health did not look after people who need to self-isolate.
"Rather, we manage people who need to be quarantined and accommodation of those people for this purpose is supported by Civil Defence Emergency Management Group."
He said individuals arriving in New Zealand who needed to be in self-isolation for 14 days were responsible for organising their own accommodation in which to self-isolate.
Across the region in Rotorua, Downtown Backpackers owner Febin Abraham said there had been two occasions this week where tourists had been seeking to self-isolate in his accommodation.
But like Robson-Frentz, there were no self-contained sites as all amenities were communal.
"We are giving them free cancellations and advising them to go into a hotel where it is self-contained."
It was a frightening experience when one person, who was seeking isolation, appeared to be ill, Abraham said.
Appropriate testing for Covid-19 was done and thankfully the result was negative, he said, but Abraham has since made changes to ensure his staff remain well.
"If one or two of our staff are needing to isolate then we aren't able to operate the business and that is the priority at the moment.
"For the safety of our guests, we are not making reservations for more than 30 people in the place at once."
Since the government announced the border restrictions on Saturday, he said, there weren't as many international tourists who had come through and he was confident the hotels and motels were able to accommodate those who needed self-isolation.
A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said the ministry was wanting to ensure New Zealand's health system was able to continue delivering a whole range of care for all New Zealanders in addition to responding to the demands of Covid-19.
"The ministry is dealing with a fast-changing picture and is working hard to provide up-to-date advice to best protect New Zealanders.
"As we move further into the response we are receiving more requests, and from a range of groups, organisations and agencies seeking ministry guidance."
She said the latest ministry advice was on its website and in the meantime encouraged people to continue to take a pragmatic approach.