Coronavirus: Kiwis evacuated from Wuhan to be housed in campervans

Kiwis being evacuated from Wuhan will be housed in campervans, the Ministry of Health's director-general Dr Ashley Bloomfield has revealed.

The group is set to touch down in New Zealand late Wednesday evening and will be taken directly into quarantine at a military facility at Whangaparaoa.

The plane was scheduled to arrive at 4pm NZ time but was delayed in leaving and will now touch down about 6pm.

A total of 193 passengers boarded the plane in Wuhan. This included 100 New Zealand citizens and permanent residents, 23 Australian citizens and 70 other people, mainly from countries in the Pacific Islands, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Once in Auckland, all non-Australian passengers will have to stay in quarantine for two weeks.
Australian passengers will be transferred directly to a flight to Australia. 

Dr Bloomfield said officials came up with an "inspired idea" on how to house people at the facility. 

"There's actually a large number of campervans up there to house families and individuals. There are some who will be in fixed accommodation blocks, there are some units for one or two people, but the vast majority will be in campervans that have been moved there specifically for that purpose," he said

"That gives them privacy, it's pretty comfortable. We know as for any military training facility they tend to have big parade grounds so there's plenty of space to park them up - so I think that's going to be a pretty comfortable arrangement for people."

Independent catering has also been organised, Dr Bloomfield said.

"We're doing our best to make it as a reasonable time for people as possible."

Although no visitors will be allowed on-site, friends and family will be able to send the quarantined people items.

"It's not prison.  There will be security there...but people will be able to send them stuff in."