Police hunting for two COVID-positive Jet Park escapees

Police are on the hunt for two COVID-positive people who have escaped the Jet Park quarantine hotel - the second breach from the facility in less than a month.

The pair fled the facility on Saturday at 4:45pm.

The joint head of managed isolation and quarantine Brigadier Rose King told Newshub it's a "disappointing and unacceptable breach" and an investigation is underway to establish how it happened.

"These facilities are not prisons and these individuals have wilfully absconded. Deliberate breaches like this can put the wider community at risk," she added.

Police confirmed they're working with MIQ officials to try to locate the two people.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact 111 and quote event number P048451440," a police spokesperson told Newshub.

The Jet Park hotel, the country's main facility for COVID cases, was the site of another escape on October 3 when a COVID-positive man left the grounds only to be found half an hour later by police at an address in Mangere. He was arrested and charged.

At that time a source told Newshub some staff had safety concerns due to the behaviour of some staying at MIQ hotels in Auckland.

In a separate incident on Saturday, a person escaped from the Novotel MIQ facility but was found a short time later and arrested.

Newshub can also reveal the Crown Plaza has stopped accepting community contacts of COVID cases.

An MIQ spokesperson confirmed this saying "a decision has been made to relocate community cases to facilities better suited to their specific needs", which includes hotels with more outdoor space and better access to such areas.

"There have been some reports of minor damage to some rooms since the hotel was contracted to be a managed isolation facility in April 2020 but they are comparatively rare considering the thousands of people who have spent their isolation time at the Crowne Plaza. Any poor behaviour by people in our facilities is taken very seriously. Staff are encouraged to raise any concerns directly with us," the spokesperson said.

Between September 22, 2021 and October 5, there have been 21 incidents involving guests at three hotels in Auckland:

  • 10 behavioural incidents at the Jet Park Hotel Auckland Airport
  • 9 behavioural incidents at the Holiday Inn Auckland Airport
  • 2 behavioural incidents at the Novotel/Ibis Ellerslie.

An MIQ spokesperson confirmed to Newshub two of the 10 incidents at Jet Park related to rooms being damaged.

"MIQ categorises behavioural incidents are either low-level, medium-level or high-level. An example of a low-level behavioural incident is a returnee leaving their room without a reason; an example of a medium-level behavioural incident is persistent threatening language and/or behaviour; an example of a high-level behavioural incident is domestic or family violence within their bubble," the spokesperson said.

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