Quarantine hotel escapee on loose for eight hours

The man was swiftly taken into custody by police at the Ramada hotel in Auckland's Federal St....
The man was swiftly taken into custody by police at the Ramada hotel in Auckland's Federal St. Photo: NZ Herald
A man who used bed sheets to escape from an Auckland quarantine hotel spent eight hours visiting different parts of the city.

The man escaped late on Sunday night and was captured on CCTV in Aotea Square at 1am yesterday, head of managed isolation Air Commodore Darryn Webb said today.

"The man has been viewed on CCTV walking in parts of Auckland, from the central city to Newmarket, Epsom, Onehunga and Mt Albert before returning to the facility on Federal Street."

A bedsheet ladder, used to get down four storeys from a hotel window, was discovered at 8.20am yesterday by on-site security. The man presented to hotel staff about four minutes later.

"Security improvements at the facility will be made and include the installation of additional CCTV cameras as well as extra lighting at the likely point of the man's alleged exit," Webb said.

Early indications suggested the man broke the security latch on the window to force his way out.

The man - who had been deported from Australia on September 16 - was swiftly taken into custody by police.

Police have reviewed a range of CCTV, interviewed the man, conducted a scene examination and spoken to staff.

Public Health deemed the Covid-19 risk to the public to be low.

The deportee has been asymptomatic throughout his 12-day stay at the Ramada.

There were two new confirmed cases of Covid-19 announced today, recent returnees from overseas who are in managed isolation.

Webb says more than 55,000 people have been through New Zealand's managed isolation/quarantine facilities, only 13 of whom have absconded in nine different incidents.


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