Coronavirus: Auckland hotel residents concerned over reports of returned New Zealanders arriving for quarantine

Auckland's Stamford Plaza Hotel.
Auckland's Stamford Plaza Hotel. Photo credit: Google Maps

News that 12 busloads of people are going into quarantine at Stamford Plaza Hotel in central Auckland on Saturday has residents who live atop the building concerned, but authorities say no decision has been made on using the hotel.

The apartments on top of the eight-floor hotel are home to about 300 people, many of whom are older and at higher risk of severe complications or death if they catch COVID-19.

One, who asked to be known only as Jill, said the hotel had told them that busloads of returning travellers would arrive today.

However, a spokesperson from the Government's official COVID response team said there would not be busloads of people turning up at the hotel on Saturday.

"Authorities are working with the hotel to assess its suitability for quarantine. No decision has been made."

Air Commodore Webb said he had been working with Megan Woods since Saturday morning over the option of the Stamford Hotel as a managed isolation facility.

"While an assessment of the facility is still underway, the decision has been made that no returnees will be arriving at the Stamford Hotel at any point until I am satisfied that it meets the criteria for a managed isolation facility."

Earlier, Jill said she did not believe the hotel was suitable for quarantining people from overseas who may be carrying the virus.

"There are a number of shared areas, the apartments of which there are approximately 159 on top of the hotel - we share the corridors to go through to our carparks, we also of course share the fire egress."

She said the residents only found out about the plan on Friday.

"I know other residents have spent the afternoon trying to contact councils, Ministry of Health and officials that go through and say 'there is a real risk'."

Jill said the residents on top of the eight-floor hotel would have to use shared spaces in the event of an emergency.

Speaking at a media conference this afternoon, where he revealed that the country had two new cases of COVID-19, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said: "The point I will make is that over the two months to the beginning of June when we've been using managed isolation facilities, we have not seen any new infections as a result. So our procedures are good."

He said that included no new infections for staff, who have been tested, especially during alert levels three and four.

"We're now in a position where we will have caught up with (tested) everybody who will have come in from June 9."

He said the issue with shared facilities was ensuring that people were separated. He has visited one and the extent that processes were in place was "quite remarkable".

"It's an ongoing work but I will point to the fact that we have not had any cases coming out of our managed isolation facilities in over 19,000 Kiwis that have come through in the past couple of months."

COVID-19 has infected more than 8.5 million people worldwide since it began spreading from China late last year, and had killed more than 450,000.