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Man in police custody after escaping Hamilton COVID-19 isolation

July 10, 2020 10:20 am
A third person has escaped managed isolation. [Source: NZ Hearld]

A third person has escaped managed isolation.

The man in his 50s escaped from the Distinction Hotel in Hamilton on Thursday.

It’s thought the man cut through fence ties to break out at 6:30pm then returned back to the isolation facility after half an hour.

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A statement from Air Commodore Darryn Webb on Friday confirmed the man is now in police custody.

Webb blasted the man’s actions as “completely unacceptable”.

“Managed isolation is a critical part in our defence against COVID-19, and it is up to each and every person entering this country to play their part and abide by the law,” he said.

Police and health authorities are scouring CCTV footage to establish who may have been in contact with the man while he wandered the streets of Hamilton. One liquor store on Te Rapa Road was closed for cleaning as police believe the man entered.

“Police ensured no one entered the store this morning until health officials confirmed it was safe to do so,” said Webb.

The man had returned to New Zealand from Sydney on 1 July and had tested negative for COVID-19. He has been tested again following his return to the facility.

“It is important to note that the COVID-19 health risk has been assessed as very low.”

The man will appear in court later on Friday.

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