COVID-19 Es­capees Wanted to See Close Rel­a­tives, They Es­caped Be­fore Ap­proval

Fiji Sun - - AUST/NZ/PACIFIC NEWS - Feed­back: rosi.doviverata@fi­jisun.com.fj

Five peo­ple who ab­sconded from a man­aged iso­la­tion fa­cil­ity in Hamil­ton, New Zealand on Fri­day were here fol­low­ing the death of a fam­ily mem­ber, it has been re­vealed.

A 37-year-old woman and three of her four chil­dren, aged 12, 15, and 18, were lo­cated at 7:50pm, As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Scott Fraser said yes­ter­day, af­ter leav­ing the Dis­tinc­tion Ho­tel in Hamil­ton just be­fore 7pm.

A 17-year-old es­caped, flee­ing north, lo­cated in Auck­land at 4:40am yes­ter­day. He was de­tained with­out in­ci­dent. He was ap­pre­hended at a res­i­dence in Auck­land. The min­is­ter in charge of man­aged iso­la­tion fa­cil­i­ties, Me­gan Woods, and Air Com­modore Dar­ryn Webb on Satur­day re­vealed more de­tails about the fam­ily.

They had ar­rived in New Zealand from Bris­bane on July 21. The fam­ily had ap­plied for com­pas­sion­ate leave but it was de­clined as “the health risk was deemed too high at that point in time”, said Air Com­modore Dar­ryn Webb.

An up­date of the applicatio­n was “look­ing pos­i­tive,” he said, and they were to be given a de­ci­sion by 8pm on Fri­day night.

The fam­ily was be­lieved to have es­caped the Dis­tinc­tion Ho­tel in Hamil­ton at 6.58pm. They es­caped by al­legedly forc­ing a win­dow open and climb­ing over a six-foot fence.

The mother and her chil­dren were found and de­tained by 7:50pm on Fri­day and re­turned to the fa­cil­ity. Four of the five have been charged with in­ten­tion­ally fail­ing to com­ply with an or­der made un­der sec­tion 11 of the COVID-19 Pub­lic Health Re­sponse Act 2020 by leav­ing a man­aged iso­la­tion fa­cil­ity. The 12-year-old has not been charged. New­shub

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