13 Aug 2020

Police officer self-isolating after contact with Covid-19 positive case

8:51 pm on 13 August 2020

Today a disqualified driver fled from one of the nine roading checkpoints set up across the Auckland region under alert level 3.

Police road block in Bombay, Auckland - level 3 in on 12 August

Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

Police said in a statement they decided not to chase the vehicle after the incident for safety reasons and would follow up with the registered owner of the vehicle.

Meanwhile, a Waikato police officer is self-isolating after he had contact with a Covid-19 positive case during a routine traffic stop.

Police said the officer stopped the person who visited Rotorua - and is part of the Auckland cluster - in Karāpiro on Tuesday morning.

As at 7am this morning, 17,000 vehicles had been stopped at checkpoints - of which 312 vehicles were turned around - set up to restrict travel in and out of Auckland.

Those that were turned around were largely co-operative, police said.

Police said congestion eased at the checkpoints due to a reduction in traffic volumes and the introduction of a dedicated freight lane at the southern Bombay checkpoint.

While congestion has eased, anyone travelling during peak times should add some time to their journey as a precaution.

Today there was one change to the checkpoints, the checkpoint at River Rd/Lapwood Rd moved to Tuakau Rd/Buckland Rd.

Some of the checkpoints in Auckland are also being supported by Māori Wardens.

Where iwi have expressed an interest, police said it was facilitating observation visits to checkpoint sites and providing briefings on how these were managed.

There is no legal authority currently, for police or others to establish Covid-19 related checkpoints under alert level 2.

Police continued to be busy around testing stations across the region, but overall it appears everyone in Auckland is heeding the advice to stay home, where possible, and to minimise travel.

As at 7am today, Tāmaki Makaurau police staff completed over 852 prevention activities including directed patrols and reassurance checks at essential facilities such as supermarkets, pharmacies and Covid-19 testing sites.