A man broke out of his managed isolation facility at Rotorua's Sudima hotel last night, and was found nearby 30 minutes later.
He was noticed missing from his room around 11pm and was found by defence force staff at 11.30pm.
In a statement released today, Air Commodore Darryn Webb, head of managed isolation and quarantine, said police inquiries are underway, including a review of CCTV to establish the man’s movements in the time he was outside the facility. However, indications are that he did not move beyond the immediate area.
Initial information is that the man exited through a fenced area but there is no information to suggest at this stage he had contact with anyone while outside the facility, authorities said.
Due to concerns for his welfare, he was taken to hospital for support and assessment.
Webb said he had been advised the Covid-19 health risk of the escapee has been assessed as low.
The man is on day nine of his stay in isolation and is due a test on day 12. He is also symptom free, having passed his day three test.
"Events of this nature are extremely rare, with eight incidents involving 12 people absconding from managed isolation," Webb said. "Around 50,000 people have been through managed isolation and returned safely to their families and communities without incident.
"I would like to reassure people, particularly those in Rotorua who have concerns, that the health risk as a result of this incident has been assessed as low.
"Investigations at this point indicate there were no close contacts outside the facility.
"Security has been bolstered at this facility following this incident, and we will review whether any additional measures are required."