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Dozen bubble breaches in Auckland quarantine hotel 'disappointing', MIQ boss says

Twelve people who breached managed isolation rules at the Crowne Plaza Auckland on Sunday evening may have to stay in the facility longer, Joint Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine Brigadier Rose King says.

Crowne Plaza. Source: Google Maps

The returnees, who were not RSE workers, arrived in Auckland from Samoa on June 11. 

Given their country of origin, they did not require a Covid-19 test on arrival in New Zealand, and their day 3 tests all came back negative. 

However, King told 1 NEWS "the actions of all involved are disappointing". Some of those involved have been given a warning by police.

King said the bubble breaches, which were on the same floor of the hotel, were detected and acted on on Sunday evening when they happened.

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On June 13 there were three separate incidents within an hour at the Crowne Plaza. Source: 1 NEWS

The incidents were captured on CCTV footage.

At 9pm, two young children were seen running around and sitting in a corridor for up to 45 minutes. They were wearing masks.

"The young returnees are currently symptomatic cases and were supposed to be in isolation," King said.

The children's mother returned them to their room.

While in the corridor, another returnee wearing a mask came out and stopped with the children for about 15 minutes. They were closer than two metres.

At about 9.45pm, another returnee left their room and went into another room for about 20 minutes without any face coverings. It is understood they were cousins.

Then around 10pm, seven returnees - including the person who was with the children - sat in the hallway talking for about 15 minutes without wearing masks.

"They were warned to return to their rooms immediately and not enter hallway without masks at any time," King said.

"They were then seen back in the hallway again at which point the facility manager and on-site police and translator re-educated them. They were given a warning by police."

Rose said the 12 people involved are now in isolation and all are undergoing further Covid-19 tests.

If anyone tests positive they will all have to stay longer.

"Bubble breaches do happen from time-to-time inside MIQ. In the context of 145,000 people having been through MIQ so far, the numbers are relatively low though," King said.

"The important things is that we catch breaches when they occur, we work with the people involved to make them aware of the rules and that we take whatever action is required. That is exactly what happened here.

"The strict rules take a bit of getting used to for some people, especially in the first few days.

"We work hard to make sure we communicate with returnees in their first language."

King said those involved were given welcome packs translated in Samoan on arrival, and yesterday a Samoan speaker was on-site to speak with those involved in the incident.

"We have told the individual returnees how they can call other rooms to communicate if they wish," she said.