What COVID-19 isolation escapee did for 50 mins before returning to hotel

It has been revealed what the man who escaped from managed isolation did for 50 minutes before returning to his hotel.  

A man in his 30s, who later tested positive for COVID-19, absconded from Auckland's Stamford Plaza on Tuesday. 

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Defence Force Air Commodore Darryn Webb outlined the man's steps. 

"He was logged into the smoking area at 6:51pm and escaped via the fence section which was being replaced."

"He walked to the Countdown [on Victoria St West] taking a rather indirect route arriving at 7:02pm. He spent 20 minutes there. He then took a phone call for 22 minutes and that call ended at 7:42 pm. He then took an indirect route back to the hotel and arrived at 7:58pm.

"During this time he walked along Albert Street, Customs Street East, Queen Street and Victoria Street West."

Webb said police scoured CCTV footage to track the man's movements minute by minute. 

The route the man took to Countdown and back.
The route the man took to Countdown and back. Photo credit: Newshub

Megan Woods, the minister overseeing the quarantine facilities, said as a result the Countdown was closed to be cleaned. 

"Police attended the Countdown at 9:30pm... and at 10:30pm, approximately, staff wiped down all surfaces, in particular, the self checkout used by the returnee."

"On Wednesday morning, the head off health, safety and wellbeing at Countdown emailed the Ministry of Health advising the team that they had cleaned that area and were then advised that everything that needed to be done had been done.

"At 7:57am Countdown advised that they had made the decision to close the store and conduct a deep clean," Woods said. 

The man who escaped will be charged under section 26(1) of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020.

It's the second time in the space of a week someone has escaped an isolation facility. On Saturday, a woman escaped from a managed isolation facility in Auckland. 

The 43-year-old, who was staying at the Pullman Hotel, scaled two fences to breakout around 6pm. She was apprehended by police a few hours later nearby Anzac Avenue. 

She could face a six-month jail term or a $4000 fine if she's charged under the Government's COVID-19 legislation.

She travelled alone to New Zealand from Brisbane on June 27 and a COVID-19 test came back negative while she was in isolation.