Covid-19: Woman books room, walks into isolation facility at Auckland Airport


A woman managed to walked into the Novotel at Auckland Airport, which is being used as a managed isolation facility. (File photo)

A woman was able to book into a managed isolation facility at Auckland Airport and walked into the lobby.

An investigation is now underway.

The woman was in Auckland to attend a conference at Butterfly Creek in Māngere and had booked in at the Novotel at Auckland Airport on Monday evening.

A spokeswoman for managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) told Stuff the woman entered reception area of the hotel at 8.34pm on Monday.

* Covid-19: A guide to managed isolation hotels, and what to do if things go wrong
* Coronavirus: No restrictions on cards for Kiwis returning from India, despite 28 positive cases
* Coronavirus: New Covid-19 case at Christchurch managed isolation facility
* Coronavirus: How the Government botched border testing for Covid-19

“A member of the public was inadvertently allowed to enter … after advising they had a booking at the facility,” the spokeswoman said.


National leader Judith Collins reacts to news only a fraction of MIQ stays have been paid for.

When asked how the woman got through security, the spokeswoman said a security guard at the fence line recorded her details, then prompted her to reception to talk about it with hotel staff.

The woman was wearing a face mask, sanitised and did not come into contact with guests or touch any surfaces, MIQ said.

This was confirmed by CCTV and standard Covid-19 procedures were followed by the staff who had contact with the individual.

“It was quickly established that the individual had a booking in the system which had been booked through a third party,” the spokesperson said.

“The hotel had previously cancelled the booking, however, the individual advised that they hadn’t been informed.”

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service deemed the incident a low public health risk, however the individual has been advised to monitor their health for 14 days as a precaution, MIQ said.

“An investigation is underway following the incident and corrective action is currently being taken to prevent this type of incident occurring again,” the MIQ spokeswoman said.

Butterfly Creek general manager John Dowsett said he’d been told by the Ministry of Health there was no health risk to any of his staff or the attendees of the conference on Tuesday morning.

Emily Ford/Stuff

Butterfly Creek general manager John Dowsett.

Dowsett said he was “bloody angry” there’d been another slip-up as his business had already been “hammered” by the lockdowns.

Who runs the facilities?

Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). It is jointly led by deputy chief executive Megan Main and Air Commodore Darryn Webb, who is MIQ head.

Among the staff inside the MIQs are police officers, NZ Defence Force and Aviation Security Service personnel, together with hotel workers and some private security.

On August 19, the Government announced 500 extra Defence Force personnel would be deployed to managed isolation facilities, and soldiers now guard the perimeter of the facilities.

About a week later, director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield gave members of the NZ Defence Force two new powers under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act.

Military personnel at managed isolation and quarantine facilities can now issue directions or request identification.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *