22 Jun 2020

'Uncertainty' for guests as hotel lockdown continues

2:12 pm on 22 June 2020

Hundreds of guests at Auckland Airport's Novotel will have to stay in their rooms and have food delivered to them due to a case of Covid-19 there.

The foyer of the Novotel at Auckland Airport.

Auckland Airport's Novotel says it's waiting on information from the Ministry of Health about how long the lockdown will last. Photo: Supplied / Alexa Cook

The hotel is hosting New Zealanders who have returned from overseas and gone into mandatory isolation.

Today New Zealand has two new Covid-19 cases, the one at Auckland Airport's Novotel and one at the Grand Millennium hotel, bringing the number of active cases in the country to nine.

Novotel guests have received a letter from the hotel telling them to stay in their rooms.

"The hotel is currently under lockdown pending contact tracing and further testing," the letter said.

Access in and out of the building has been restricted, including any scheduled walks or activities.

It said meals will be dropped to them and no laundry will be taken in or out of the premises today.

Any outside deliveries into the hotel, included food and supermarket goods, will be done via contactless delivery.

Daily health checks and Covid-19 testing will continue.

The hotel said it's waiting on information from the Ministry of Health about how long the lockdown will last.

"We appreciate there is a level of uncertainty for guests and staff within the hotel. We are working to gain clarity on requirements to ensure we can return to normal managed isolation practices," the letter said.

It told guests they can expect another update at midday, with their lunch delivery.

Former RNZ reporter Alexa Cook, who is among guests at the Novotel, told Morning Report she received a call from a Defence Force person about 8.30pm yesterday. The person said the new case concerned one bubble.

Alexa Cook and her partner ready to leave to fly to NZ.

Alexa Cook and her partner Photo: Supplied/Alexa Cook

Cook, who is with her partner in day nine of a 14-day isolation, said she has seen increased security at the hotel in recent days.

"In the past couple of days we have seen probably at least a doubling of staff who are on at the hotel. Yesterday, for example, when we went out for our allowed exercise that gets supervised there were two Air Force [staff] in the foyer, there were at least five security guards, there was a police person standing outside the door of the hotel, and there were also three people on our supervised walk rather than two."

Their hotel room overlooks the Auckland International Airport terminal and there seemed to be a noticeable ramping up of security personnel.

Cook is expecting to receive information today on whether the latest development might affect their 14-day quarantine.

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