International Air NZ crew now must stay in isolation hotel after previously having choice to self-isolate at home

1 NEWS can reveal Air New Zealand crew who've travelled from high risk countries have been ordered by the Government to stay in a special hotel to isolate, with taxpayers footing the bill.

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Some are questioning why it’s been kept so secret and say the new measures fall short of keeping Kiwis safe from Covid-19. Source: 1 NEWS

Up until Monday, aircrew had the choice to self-isolate at home.

Every week around 80 pilots and cabin crew on high risk flights are now being driven to a hotel where a private healthcare team test them for Covid-19.

If it's negative, they can leave after 48 hours.

“We're not going to have security on the door we do trust the airlines to follow the rules,” Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins says of the arrangements.

Some are questioning why it's been kept so quiet and say the new measures fall well short of keeping us safe.

“These requirements are quite minimal - this is a very brief period of stay in a non-managed hotel and a single negative test result and we know that is insufficient,” epidemiologist, Professor Michael Baker told 1 NEWS.

The new rules come as 1 NEWS has been told some cabin crew were suspected of breaking self-isolation at home, Hipkins is aware of the claims.

“It’s difficult to respond to anecdotes rather than actual evidence that people haven’t been following the rules,” he says.

The new arrangement is being paid for by the Government, which says Air New Zealand's an essential service, and that right now it's essential to keep the national carrier in the air.