17 Sep 2020

Person escaped managed isolation hotel in Rotorua

12:17 pm on 17 September 2020

A man escaped from the managed isolation Sudima Hotel in Rotorua last night.

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Sudima Hotel, Rotorua. Photo: Sudima Hotel

The person was located within half-an-hour near the facility.

Air Commodore Darryn Webb, head of managed isolation and quarantine, said the person was taken to hospital for support and assessment.

Risk to the public health is low, officials said.

The man was reported missing from his room at 11pm on Wednesday. Defence Force staff found him at about 11.30pm.

Initial information is that the man exited through a fenced area.

Police enquiries are underway, including a review of CCTV, but indications are that he did not move beyond the immediate area, and there is no information to suggest the man came into contact with any other person while he was outside the facility, Webb said in a statement.

Due to concerns for the man's wellbeing he was taken to hospital where he is receiving support and assessment.

Public Health officials say the Covid-19 health risk has been assessed as low.

The man arrived in New Zealand from Brisbane on 8 September, and tested negative for his day 3 test. He is on day 9 of his stay and is symptom-free, and his next scheduled test is due around day 12.

Webb said security has been bolstered at the facility and they will review whether any additional measures are required. Standard Covid-19 procedures are being followed for staff who were in contact with him.

There have been eight incidents involving 12 people absconding from managed isolation. About 50,000 people have been through managed isolation.

Previous incidents at isolation facilities:

July 4 - Suzanne Derrett, 43, fled the Pullman Hotel in Auckland by climbing a fence. She was given a six-month suspended sentenced in Dunedin District Court on 4 August.

July 7 - A man, 32, slipped through a fence at Auckland's Stamford Plaza and supermarket walked to a nearby supermarket. He later tested positive for Covid-19. He was expected to be charged and face the court process once released from quarantine.

July 9 - Martin McVicar, 52, was accused of breaking through a fence at the Distinction Hotel in Te Rapa, Hamilton to visit a nearby liquor store. He was sentenced on 27 August to 40 hours of community work. The judge said McVicar had rushed back from Australia due to "tragic family circumstances".

July 10 - A person in their 60s broke a window and scaled a fence to escape from the Waipuna Hotel in Mt Wellington, Auckland.

July 24 - A woman, 37, and her four children, who were in New Zealand for a funeral, left the Distinction Hotel in Te Rapa to visit the body of the children's father. Four members of the family pleaded guilty to charges. The youngest child, 12, was not charged.

July 30 - Man, 32, is accused of following a staff member out of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Auckland. He didn't make it more than 100m down the road. He has been charged.

August 4 - Man tried to walk out of an unidentified facility. He was handcuffed, and returned to his room and given a warning, Air Commodore Air Commodore Darryn Webb said.

August 6 - Woman, 45, charged with unlawfully being on a property after police said she she pushed a fence and went on to the grounds of a managed isolation facility in Rotorua.

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