Christchurch Novotel staff accuse hotel of not keeping them safe as dozens of international guests arrive for quarantine

Multiple staff members at a Christchurch hotel say it is not doing enough to keep them safe as dozens of international arrivals are quarantined in its rooms.

Emails sent to Newshub accuse management of Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square of inadequate communication, not physical distancing and "lack of care".

But the hotel's boss denies the claims.

One staff member - who wanted to be kept anonymous - said staff were told over the weekend the hotel would be used as a space for international arrivals to quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"[When they arrived] they were not quarantined and continued to be in large groups until Wednesday night," the staff member told Newshub on Thursday.

"The staff were not told about how to enforce social distancing in the restaurant and that did not happen at all when it was still open."

The worker says around half the staff in the Christchurch Novotel have refused to work because of the lack of communication. 

Another staff member claimed the hotel did not check guests as they entered.

"We had a group of 85 tourists that had just walked in at the same time on the March 24 without checking their temperatures," the staffer told Newshub.

"The staff doesn't have gloves, masks in the area."

However the general manager of the hotel denies any wrongdoing, saying the safety and well-being of guests and staff are a top priority.

"All of our teams are allowed to wear masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) and use hydro-alcoholic gel hand sanitiser," Bradley Conder told Newshub.

It was unclear whether Novotel was providing these to staff or not. 

"Any guest that checked into the hotel has been required to self-isolate as per the Government lockdown instructions as of 11.59pm Wednesday, March 25."

Conder says the hotel is doing it's best in extraordinary times.

"Our teams are striving to do their best to assist our communities in this unprecedented situation."

The Ministry of Health has been contacted for comment.