New arrest at Auckland isolation hotel

A man has been arrested at an Auckland Covid-19 isolation hotel after allegedly becoming abusive at staff.

It comes amid a turbulent week at similar facilities across the country, as three people face charges for absconding.

Auckland Police Superintendent Steve Kehoe said on Monday night a 21-year-old man who was in managed isolation at a hotel in Māngere was arrested after he allegedly became abusive to staff.

The Ministry of Health confirmed to the New Zealand Herald it was at Naumi Hotel, Auckland Airport.

He was taken to the Counties Manukau Police Custody Unit and had been charged with speaking threateningly.

He is due to appear in Manukau District Court on Tuesday.

"Appropriate safety procedures have been put in place and every precaution is being taken," Kehoe said.

Today it was revealed Queenstown man Martin McVicar allegedly absconded from the Distinction Hotel in Hamilton and went to a nearby liquor store where he picked up a four-pack of European beer and red wine before leaving.

The man who served him at Te Rapa Brews earlier told the Herald he spent just two minutes in the store and knew exactly what he was after.

"He walked in and bought a four-pack of Leffe Blonde and a pinot noir.

"I asked him how he was and he just said 'fine'," a staffer said.

He said the man paid by cash. Because of this, every single note and coin in the register had to be cleaned this morning.

The liquor store is roughly a nine-minute walk from the hotel.

Air Commodore Darren Webb confirmed they had spoken to a liquor store on Te Rapa Rd and it had cleaned its premises as a result of the inquiries.

McVicar, aged 52, appeared in the Hamilton District Court via audio visual link this afternoon where he faced a charge of intentional damage of a 52-inch TV and intentionally failing to comply with an order under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 by leaving a managed isolation facility and purchasing alcohol.

It was the third escape from an isolation facility in a week.

On Saturday, a woman jumped two fences at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland shortly before 6.20pm but was soon found a couple of blocks away on Anzac Ave.

She is due to appear in the Auckland District Court on Monday.

On Tuesday night, a man sneaked through a gap in the fence at the Stamford Plaza in Auckland and visited a Countdown Supermarket before returning 70 minutes later to the hotel.

Yesterday, Webb and Cabinet Minister Megan Woods said a review of the system had been completed and there would be a 24/7 police presence at all of the isolation facilities.

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