Woman who escaped managed isolation in Auckland to face charges

A woman who escaped from a managed isolation facility in Auckland on Saturday evening has been caught by police.

She absconded from the Pullman Hotel on foot just before 6:20pm, Air Commodore Darryn Webb, head of managed isolation and quarantine, said on Sunday. She was apprehended at 8pm on nearby Anzac Avenue. 

"This was excellent work by police staff who located the woman as quickly as possible. She was located outdoors. The exact movements of the woman are still being determined. "

Charges are being considered against the 43-year-old.

"She is receiving appropriate care while in custody and will be assessed by a clinician."

She arrived in New Zealand from Brisbane on June 27. A COVID-19 test came back negative, but this doesn't necessarily mean she isn't carrying the virus. She was travelling alone.

"We recognise that managed isolation can be stressful for people who come to it with a variety of circumstances," said Webb. "However, wilfully leaving our facilities cannot and will not be tolerated, and the appropriate action will be taken."

New arrivals are expected to spend 14 days in isolation, or quarantine if they're showing symptoms, and undergo two tests for the deadly virus, which has killed more than 520,000 people worldwide. 

"This 14-day period forms a critical part of the actions being taken to keep New Zealand and New Zealanders safe during a global pandemic when case numbers are constantly increasing overseas," said Webb.

The five officers who caught the woman are undergoing tests for the virus.