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Covid-19: Three people allegedly escape MIQ, one charged, one still missing


A person is alleged to have escaped from a MIQ facility on Tuesday.

Joseph Johnson/Stuff

A person is alleged to have escaped from a MIQ facility on Tuesday.

A 26-year-old man has been charged with escaping a managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facility after going out to buy cigarettes, while another is still missing.

Court documents seen by Stuff show a 26-year-old man has been charged with intentionally failing to comply with the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act by failing to remain in a managed isolation facility.

In a statement, joint head of MIQ Brigadier Rose King said three Covid-19 positive community cases staying at the Holiday Inn hotel at Auckland Airport allegedly absconded last night, with one still missing.

The 26-year-old appeared at the Auckland District Court on Wednesday where his lawyer said the man left MIQ to buy cigarettes, with a 33-year-old man, and were apprehended shortly after.

The Holiday Inn is a dual managed isolation and quarantine facility.

LAWRENCE SMITH/Stuff

The Holiday Inn is a dual managed isolation and quarantine facility.

He has four days left of his quarantine and Judge Josephine Bouchier remanded him on bail telling him he will not be allowed to leave the MIQ premises unless instructed by authorities.

Judge Bouchier also ordered him to abide by any Covid-19 restrictions and remanded him on bail to reappear in court in November.

In a statement from King, she said the two cases allegedly absconded at about 5.40pm and were apprehended by police at about 5.45pm.

“They were observed by Police and MIQ Security the entire time. One was on day 6 of their stay and the other on day 7.”

The 33-year-old has been summonsed to appear in court at a later date and both men are considered as being at low risk of spreading Covid-19 to the community, King said.

The person who is still at large, allegedly absconded at 9.55pm, who had arrived directly from hospital.

That person had requested to return home to retrieve personal items, care for a pet and lock their house in south east Auckland.

“A security escort was set up to allow this to occur. They were given 10 minutes to do what they needed to. At the 10minute mark the security detail went to retrieve them and found the individual had disappeared from the address,” King said.

Police were notified and the person is yet to be found, King said.

“These incidents are really disappointing and unacceptable to me,” King said.



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