Woman who refused New Zealand MIQ COVID-19 test to be released on Tuesday

An Australian woman who has refused to get a COVID-19 test in a New Zealand MIQ facility until it is proven safe is due to leave her hotel on Tuesday.

Lucinda Baulch arrived in New Zealand 27 days ago to accompany three foster children whose caregivers live in New Zealand.

"My intention was [to] come here, transition the children, go home and, how do I put this, grieve the hole that was in my heart because I loved those children," she told Newshub.

Baulch thought she wouldn't have to get a COVID-19 test because she is going to leave the country to return to Australia straight from quarantine, but has since discovered she isn't exempt.

When she found out, she requested information about the nasal swab, but says that authorities have refused.  

"Governments are really confident in the testing and the consent form says it's not known to be harmful to health and then you get the other side where lots of people talk about concerns with testing. There's such a mish-mash of information. All information everywhere. I just want the information. Show me the facts, show me the evidence."

So instead of leaving MIQ at the same time as the three children who were swabbed and tested negative, Baulch has been forced to extend her stay.

MBIE deputy secretary and joint head of MIQ, Megan Main, said the longest a person can be held in managed isolation is 28 days.

"We have legislation which requires us to have people take a day 12 test and we are required to hold people who refused that test for at least an extra 10 days."

MBIE said there have been a couple of people who have refused testing before, and stayed for the full 28 days. They say the nasal testing is safe with more than 110,000 tests performed around the country. 

Baulch is now considering legal action against the Government for her extended stay. 

But for now, she hopes by Tuesday night she'll be on the other side of her MIQ window, and then on a plane home.