COVID-19: Quarantine absconder turns herself in to New Zealand police

Quarantine absconder turns herself in to New Zealand police

A woman who escaped from managed isolation in New Zealand has turned herself to authorities, a police spokesperson said on Wednesday.

In New Zealand, most people who test positive for COVID-19 move into government-run hotels to help prevent the spread of the disease.

The woman, who went into isolation from the hospital, went missing on Tuesday evening.

However, a police spokesperson said she had been taken back to isolation and had been charged and would appear in court at a later date.

Rose King, Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) said the woman was given 10 minutes to return home on Tuesday with security to retrieve personal items, care for a pet and lock her house.

“However, at the 10-minute mark, the security detail went to retrieve her and found the individual had disappeared.

“In a separate incident on Tuesday, two men escaped managed isolation but were apprehended by police within five minutes.

“The pair will also appear in court and could face up to six months’ imprisonment and a 4,000-New-Zealand-dollar (2,860 U.S. dollars) fine.

“These incidents are really disappointing and unacceptable to me. These facilities are not prisons and these individuals have willfully absconded,” she said.

Ms King said people are expected to follow the rules in place so they can return to the community safely and ensure the safety of all New Zealanders.

She said deliberate breaches like this could put the wider community at risk.

“With a population of five million, the country has reported about 4,750 cases of COVID-19 and 28 deaths since the onset of the pandemic.”