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Government eyes extra rules for returnees post MIQ after Pullman Covid cases

The Government is considering putting extra requirements on returnees after they leave managed isolation, after three people who stayed at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland tested positive for Covid-19 once they had left. 

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It comes after some returnees who had left managed isolation at the Pullman Hotel tested positive for Covid-19. Source: 1 NEWS

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said they had spoken to health officials about the expectations of people once they have their day 12 test to minimise risk.

"Do we need to minimise people's movements or transactions once they have that final test?" Ardern said. 

"The second thing is what extra assurance can we give on departure? If that means adding in some extra requirements once you leave, that's absolutely what we're looking at."

She said returnees who had completed their managed isolation stay were given instructions of what to do if they became sick, but she wanted "to go a step further than that".

Couple quarantining at Pullman Hotel skip exercise breaks over Covid-19 transmission fears

"Clearly there has been an event of some description that has affected guests from one contact. That gives us a clue of what we need to look for," Ardern said, referring to the Pullman Hotel Covid cases. 

National's Chris Bishop said there was "something clearly wrong at the Pullman". 

"National has been concerned for months about the laxity of MIQ and the potential for people to catch Covid-19 there.

"Stories coming out of these facilities have cast doubt on whether the right protocols are in place, and whether they are being followed.

"There is still evidence of cohort mingling in MIQ facilities, where recent arrivals are able to mix and mingle with people coming towards the end of their stay. That doesn’t make sense."

The Government recently added a "day zero' test on arrival, requiring guests to stay in their managed isolation room until a result has been received, to a day three and day 12 test. They also implemented rules around pre-departure tests, where long-haul passengers had to produce a negative Covid test once they arrive in New Zealand.