COVID-19: Auckland woman frustrated by people using Tinder to break lockdown rules as Delta outbreak grows

An Auckland woman is frustrated after multiple people on Tinder asked her to meet up despite the entire country being in alert level 4 lockdown

Briar Pope says she's received at least 20 messages in the past week asking her to meet despite the COVID-19 restrictions. 

The country is grappling with an outbreak of the highly infectious and deadly Delta variant with hundreds of community cases. 

In alert level 4 people can only leave their home for essential services such as getting food, medical appointments or essential work. Meeting with people outside of your bubble for a date is completely banned. 

But Pope, who is a project manager for a construction company, says many people either seem confused by the rules or simply don't care. 

She said she was recently messaged by a healthcare worker who asked her to meet. When she pointed out they couldn't because of the lockdown, he said he was fully vaccinated so it's okay. 

"One was a health worker who was like, 'Oh I am vaccinated, it's all good'. They just don't care... they don't think it's going to affect them.

"That triggered me. They didn't care at all but they were bragging about working in the healthcare sector." 

Screenshots, seen by Newshub, show the man's bio says he is "currently working in the health sector". 

In a message to Pope, he says, "Wanna kick it? *tongue out emoji".

She responds,"It's lockdown mate…". To which he says, "Lol, I'm vaccinated". 

Level four rules apply to everyone whether they are vaccinated or not. 

A picture from the man's Tinder bio shows he works in the healthcare sector.
A picture from the man's Tinder bio shows he works in the healthcare sector. Photo credit: Supplied

And Pope says he's not the only one. One man tried to convince her to go around to his flat even though one of his flatmates was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. 

"One guy who lived in a flat with a positive case, and obviously the positive case had moved, and he [the guy] had to be isolated for two weeks and he was asking me to come over despite the fact that he had a positive case in his flat that week," she said. 

Pope said another person thought it was okay to socialise as long as it was in your town or city. 

"I had a guy who lives in Raglan and he just completely didn't understand lockdown. He goes, 'Oh but I can still meet up with people in my town' and I said 'Well I am not in your town, I am in Auckland and you can't go meet people'. He just didn't grasp the concept." 

Pope said she's frustrated people aren't taking the lockdown seriously because it puts people at risk. 

"Why are people being so negligent about this… everyone has needs and I get that completely but it's not worth the risk, or dragging this lockdown out.

"They just don't seem to care and I bet there are people out there meeting up with people thinking that it's okay."

The Ministry of Health told Newshub meeting people for dates is absolutely not allowed during alert level four. 

"Lockdown means staying at home, staying within your bubble (which could include other family members in your household) and only travelling for essential services, e.g. to go to the supermarket, pharmacy or to work if you're an essential worker. It doesn't mean meeting up for dates with people you may've only met online.

"Please help New Zealanders break the chain of transmission of COVID-19 by doing the right thing.

"We need your support to protect New Zealand and eliminate COVID-19. It also means wearing a face mask, physical distancing yourself from others when out and staying at home and arranging a test if you're feeling unwell."