Police find man with Covid who escaped MIQ in Auckland

Author
Anna Leask, NZ Herald, Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 Sep 2021, 2:30PM
The Novotel MIQ hotel in Ellerslie where a Covid-19 positive man escaped yesterday. (Photo / Dean Purcell)
The Novotel MIQ hotel in Ellerslie where a Covid-19 positive man escaped yesterday. (Photo / Dean Purcell)

Police find man with Covid who escaped MIQ in Auckland

Author
Anna Leask, NZ Herald, Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 Sep 2021, 2:30PM

A Covid-19 positive man has been charged under the Covid-19 Health Order - after escaping from an Auckland quarantine facility.

He has appeared in the Auckland District Court via contactless video link this afternoon, and a judge bailed him to return to managed quarantine.

Police in full PPE caught the man at a property about 10 kilometres from the quarantine, after his family told MIQ staff he was missing.

He had last been seen about 1am, and was captured about 3pm.

The Herald reported in January there were 76 MIQ bubble breaches since the start of August, including unauthorised mixing or mingling, or people not wearing PPE when they were supposed to. 

The breaches are considered minor, but every one of them is an avoidable risk of Covid-19 spread. 

The most high profile breaches have included visiting cricket teams from the West Indies and Pakistan, who were caught hanging out in common areas and passing things to each other. 

But no penalties have been handed down, in contrast with the more serious breach of escaping from MIQ. 

That has happened 10 times and involved 14 people, 10 of whom have been charged with failing to comply with an order made under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act. 

The last time was in October last year, when a woman escaped the Grand Millennium Hotel in Auckland through a fire exit between 1am and 3am.