'You are kind of punished': Woman stuck in North Island after waiting for test

Author
Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Thu, 26 Aug 2021, 10:52AM
She followed the rules under Alert Level 4, now a Winton woman is stuck in the North Island and feels "kind of punished" for doing the right thing. (Photo / NZH)
She followed the rules under Alert Level 4, now a Winton woman is stuck in the North Island and feels "kind of punished" for doing the right thing. (Photo / NZH)

'You are kind of punished': Woman stuck in North Island after waiting for test

Author
Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Thu, 26 Aug 2021, 10:52AM

She followed the rules under Alert Level 4, now a Winton woman is stuck in the North Island and feels ''kind of punished'' for doing the right thing.

Her exile follows a perfect storm of events that left her unable to return home after following public heath guidelines exactly.

Vanessa Morris was visiting Auckland to attend her mother's funeral last Tuesday, the day the Alert Level 4 lockdown was announced.

Having travelled to her daughter's house in Tokoroa after the funeral, Morris was experiencing some Covid symptoms.

Last Wednesday, she visited the local medical centre and had a test done at 3pm.

Under Alert Level 4 guidelines she isolated at home until she received a negative test result, which came about 3.30pm the following Friday.

This was too late to travel home, as the 48-hour window to return expired at midnight on Thursday.

''I feel like by doing the right thing you are kind of punished,'' she said.

''I could have got on a flight before test results returned but felt bad about doing that when told to self-isolate.''

A spokeswoman for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet said since the travel window closed, ''people staying with others are considered one bubble and they must stay in it.''

People taking responsible action to get tested and self-isolate was appreciated, but people needed to stay put under Alert Level 4.

The department did not respond to specific questioning about Morris' situation.

Southland MP Joseph Mooney said his office had been in touch with Morris.

''We sympathise with her situation and also thank her for doing the right thing by isolating and getting tested.''