28 Jun 2020

Covid-19 hotel evacuated during fire scare

12:17 pm on 28 June 2020

Firefighters say they followed strict Covid rules when people were evacuated from a hotel in Rotorua that is being used as a managed isolation centre.

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The Sudima Hotel in Rotorua. Photo: Sudima Hotel

Fire and Emergency New Zealand said the Sudima Hotel in Rotorua was evacuated at about 7.30am.

A false fire alarm prompted the evacuation.

The Central Lakes Area commander, Jeff Maunder, estimated there are around 300 people staying in the hotel.

He said the Fire and Emergency staff were well prepared for the situation.

"Disasters are generally prevented by good planning so during the Covid programme or the Covid-19 process that we've been going through probably the last two or three months we've developed a whole range of national protocols on how we deal with Covid-19."

The Covid-19 National Response team said social distancing rules were followed during this morning's evacuation.

The spokesperson said the evacuees were outside for about 30 minutes before being escorted back into the hotel.

RNZ understands the hotel is being used for quarantining people who have returned to New Zealand from overseas.

Hotels in the city became facilities for managed isolation for returning travellers a week ago, once hotels in Auckland were at full capacity.

The Ministry of Health is also using hotels in Wellington and Christchurch.

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