Extent of managed isolation breaches revealed

Seven breaches were people who escaped isolation, including four people who fled the Rydges Hotel...
Seven breaches were people who escaped isolation, including four people who fled the Rydges Hotel in Auckland on 10 May. Photo: RNZ
Official figures show 32 people breached Covid-19 isolation rules during a 58-day period between April and June.

Nobody was charged, with all incidents dealt with via warnings and education.

The breaches occurred between 17 April and 14 June, for either absconding, failing to return, or attempting to flee the managed isolation facilities.

Nobody was charged, with police or health officials warning and educating those who broke the rules.

Half of the breaches were people who failed to return or were late to return after being granted an exemption to attend a funeral or tangi.

Seven breaches were people who escaped isolation, including four people who fled the Rydges Hotel in Auckland on 10 May.

The incident does not appear to have been reported publicly.

The four people were later found at a relative's house.

After weighing up the health risks, no charges were laid but those involved were warned and educated.

The Ministry of Health ran mobile testing of people they had been in contact with while away from isolation.

In a briefing sent to the police minister on 22 June and obtained under the Official Information Act, they said the quarantine and managed isolation operation, dubbed Operation Mercy, was run by the Ministry of Health and Defence Force, not police.

But police did aid in tracking down and returning people to isolation when called upon.

The report said "all of the cases... were resolved successfully by the agencies involved".

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