Officials said the man, who arrived in Sydney, Australia on July 1, cut ties in a six-foot fence to exit a temporary isolation facility at the Distinction Hotel in Hamilton, on the North Island of New Zealand.
All people entering New Zealand must remain in controlled isolation or quarantine for at least 14 days and be screened for coronavirus before being allowed to roam freely, but several arrivals in the country have resulted in up to now fled from these facilities.
Air Commodore Darryn Webb, chief of managed isolation and quarantine, said in a statement on Friday that the man, who had previously tested twice negative for coronavirus, was on guard on sight and was scheduled to appear in court later today.
“Initial information suggests that an individual crossed the 1.8-meter fence ties to exit the facility and returned to the facility shortly after.
“We spoke to a liquor store on Te Rapa Road, where we believe the person visited, and they cleaned up their premises following our investigations. ” , he said.
The escape came just days after several other quarantined arrivals in New Zealand escaped their mandatory isolation.
A 32-year-old man “fled briefly” from a managed isolation center in Auckland on Wednesday, Webb said in a separate statement.
The man, who later tested positive for Covid-19, escaped from the facility through a fence section and went to a supermarket before returning to the building. Webb has stated that the man will be subpoenaed in court and charged later under section 26 (1) of the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020.
On Sunday, a 43-year-old woman escaped on foot from a managed isolation center in Auckland, before being found a few blocks away shortly after.
Webb noted: “The vast majority of returnees take their responsibilities seriously and respect the law while being isolated. ”
According to the New Zealand government, 27,723 people have been in controlled isolation since March 26.
In April, the country said it had “eliminated” the virus because the number of cases remained at a figure, and in June, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that almost all national restrictions on coronaviruses would be lifted.
New Zealand has seen several cases since.
Health Minister Chris Hipkins on Friday said at a press conference that there were two new cases of coronavirus in the country, both in managed isolation centers.
“It has been 70 days since the last Covid-19 case was acquired locally from an unknown source in the community,” he said, adding that this brings the total number of confirmed cases in New Zealand to 1,192, with 23 active cases.