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Auckland couple broke lockdown rules to fly to Wānaka holiday home

An Auckland couple will appear in court after flouting Alert Level 4 restrictions to fly to their holiday home in Wānaka over the weekend, police say.

The couple flew to their holiday home in Wanaka. Source: istock.com

The pair crossed the Level 4 border to Hamilton Airport using essential worker exemptions, before flying down south, a police spokesperson said.

The couple, a 26-year-old woman and 35-year-old man, will be issued with a summons to appear in court in the coming week.

They will be charged for breaching the Health Order after failing to return to their residence within the Alert Level 4 area after leaving for approved essential personal movement.

“This calculated and deliberate flouting of the Alert Level 4 restrictions is completely unacceptable and will be extremely upsetting to all those who are working hard and making great sacrifices in order to stamp out Covid in our community,” the spokesperson said.

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Mary-Louise McLaws , an epidemiology professor at the University of NSW, says Delta can spread quickly if people travel beyond their suburb. Source: 1 NEWS

The couple indicated they would return to the Auckland address they usually reside at, after they were spoken to by police.

The Ministry of Health have been notified of the incident while the court date has not been set.

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Police also pointed to “a small number of disappointing incidents” which have occurred at Auckland’s southern boundary in recent days, which “detract from the overall high level of compliance shown to date by the public”.

Three people were issued a warning on Saturday after attempting to cross the boundary via the Mangatawhiri Road/State Highway 2 checkpoint by claiming they were essential workers.

The trio presented checkpoint staff with a document containing the letterhead of an essential business. Following questioning by police, they admitted they did not have an exemption or the correct documentation.

Their details have been recorded and they have been directed to return home. They could face enforcement action if they are again found to be in breach of current restrictions.

Meanwhile, a vehicle was stopped overnight at the Orams Road checkpoint while attempting to travel northbound into Auckland.

The driver was visibly intoxicated, and they were taken by police to Huntly to undergo excess breath/blood alcohol procedures. “It is fortunate this driver did not cause any harm to themselves or any other road users overnight.”

Staff continue to report low traffic volumes at all of the checkpoints set up at the border.

Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland compliance update

Since Alert Level 4 restrictions came into place, 67 people have been charged with 71 offences nationwide as of 5pm on Saturday.

Of that number, 56 are for failing to comply with order (Covid-19); 12 for failing to comply with direction, prohibition or restriction; one for failing to stop; and two for assaulting, threatening, hindering or obstructing an enforcement officer.

In the same time period, 158 people were formally warned for a range of offences.

To date, police have received a total of 7,530 105-online breach notifications relating to businesses, mass gatherings or people in Auckland.