Second escape bid from Auckland quarantine hotel in less than a week

A second returnee has tried to escape from an Auckland managed isolation hotel in less than a week, authorities have confirmed.

About 1am last Friday morning, on-site security intercepted a woman attempting to abscond from the Grand Millennium Hotel through a fire exit. The woman is expected to face charges.

Today, guests were told of another escape attempt.

“I’ve been here [the Grand Millennium hotel] 13 days. Somebody tried to abscond last week. It was reported widely in the news. She’s two doors down from me and has a security guard outside her room 24 hours a day now,” fellow returnee Mike Kavanagh told NZME.

“Today when I was on the fourth-floor terrace having my 45 minutes of exercise, we were told by the soldier that we had to stay where we were because someone had attempted to abscond, but obviously failed to abscond.”

“I don’t know who they were, or where they were. But they obviously didn’t get far. But it’s the second attempt,” he said.

“I have no idea why anyone would want to escape. You get three free meals a day. The hotel staff, the New Zealand armed forces staff, the security staff, everybody makes the experience as pleasant as possible. I can’t praise any of them highly enough.”

“I think anybody who escapes is not only stupid but selfish and should probably be locked up in a real prison for two weeks so they know just how lucky they are – how well they are being looked after here!”

A managed isolation and quarantine spokesperson confirmed someone tried to escape from the Auckland Hotel today.

“The individual was intercepted before they were able to leave the facility and returned to their room,” they said.

“An investigation is underway and police are making inquiries.”

Isolation escapes

July 4

Suzanne Marie Derrett, 43, allegedly scaled two fences at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland’s CBD and made off on foot. She was found nearly two hours later, two blocks away on Anzac Ave.

July 7

A 32-year-old man slipped through a gap in fencing around the smoking area at Auckland’s Stamford Plaza. He went on a 70-minute excursion, which included shopping at a central city Countdown supermarket, where he took selfies in the aisles. He returned to the hotel, and then tested positive for Covid-19 the next day.

July 9

Queenstown man Martin James McVicar, 52, broke out of the Distinction Hotel in Hamilton. McVicar allegedly cut through fence ties and walked 10 minutes to buy beer and wine. He was jailed at Spring Hill Prison and charged with failing to comply with Covid-19 public health laws. He was also charged over intentional damage to a television
at the hotel.

July 24

Five people escaped from Distinction Hotel in Hamilton. A 37-year-old woman and three young people were found and detained around 8pm that night, and the fifth, a 17 year-old boy, was arrested in Auckland at 4.40am the following day.

September 16

A man escaped from Sudima Rotorua through a fence and spent half an hour out of the facility. The man was taken to hospital for assessment, because of concerns for his wellbeing.

October 9

A woman escaped from the Grand Millennium Hotel through a fire exit around 1am, returning at 3.09am.

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