Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Police find man who allegedly escaped from MIQ in Auckland

A man with Covid-19 allegedly escaped the new MIQ facility in Ellerslie today – before police eventually located the runaway.

It is understood the man – who has confirmed Covid-19 – left the Ellerslie facility without permission earlier today.

The Herald has reached out to police, MIQ and the Ministry of Health for comment, and to answer questions including the length of time he was outside the facility, and where he may have ventured.

It is understood the man was staying at the MIQ facility at Novotel & Ibis Ellerslie.

Calls to the Novotel & Ibis Ellerslie were not immediately answered.

From last Friday, Covid-19 positive cases could be sent to the Novotel & Ibis Ellerslie rather than the Jet Park for quarantine.

The hotel has 243 rooms and will take positive Covid-19 cases that would ordinarily quarantine at Jet Park.

The Herald reported in January there were 76 MIQ bubble breaches since the start of August, including unauthorised mixing or mingling, or people not wearing PPE when they were supposed to.

The breaches are considered minor, but every one of them is an avoidable risk of Covid-19 spread.

The most high profile breaches have included visiting cricket teams from the West Indies and Pakistan, who were caught hanging out in common areas and passing things to each other.

But no penalties have been handed down, in contrast with the more serious breach of escaping from MIQ.

That has happened 10 times and involved 14 people, 10 of whom have been charged with failing to comply with an order made under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act.

The last time was in October last year, when a woman escaped the Grand Millennium Hotel in Auckland through a fire exit between 1am and 3am.

More to come

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