New Zealand police
© Kai Schwörer/Getty ImagesNew Zealand police have arrested a Covid-positive man who escaped from quarantine in Auckland.
Man was arrested later by police in full protective equipment who had sealed off the Auckland property.

A Covid-positive man absconded from a managed quarantine facility in central Auckland on Thursday, prompting New Zealand police to respond to the incident in full protective equipment.

Officers surrounded and cordoned off an address in Ōtāhuhu, south Auckland, after being told of the escape from the facility in Ellerslie, about 10km away (six miles) away. The person was was later arrested.

Superintendent Steve Kehoe said: "Police are liaising with the Ministry of Health on this matter to understand this person's movements since he left the MIQ [managed isolation and quarantine] facility.

"Staff responding to this incident are dressed in full PPE. All police staff who have responded to this incident have been following all health guidelines, in accordance with police Covid-19 procedures."

Comment: These people are insane. This 'escapee' of a 'quarantine facility' is basically a guy with the flu.

Auckland is in a level four lockdown - the highest setting - as New Zealand races to stamp out an outbreak of the Delta variant in the community.

The man appeared in the Auckland district court via a contactless video link on Thursday afternoon and has been charged with failing to comply with the Covid-19 health order.

He has been bailed to return to a managed quarantine facility.

The police thanked the man's family for being "extremely cooperative".

Comment: So the family turned him in?

Covid-19 minister Chris Hipkins told the New Zealand Herald: "MIQ facilities are very secured - I am very concerned that someone made it out." He told the Herald that the last sighting of the person was at 1am.

"Most of the areas that people who are staying in that facility have access to are double fenced, so the exercise area has a 1.8-metre fence followed by a two-metre fence."

The escapee is not the first person to abscond from managed isolation. In 2020, at least three people did the same, with one leaving to go and buy alcohol, and another leaving to visit a supermarket.

The ministry of health, and the ministry of business, innovation, and employment, which is responsible for managed isolation, have been approached for comment.