TODAY |

Police use mobile phones to track returning Kiwis entering into self-isolation

The police are using the location setting on mobile phones of recently returned Kiwis to track if they are breaking self-isolation rules.

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However, police say it’s a voluntary system meaning there is no obligation. Source: 1 NEWS

It comes as there are calls for everyone entering the country to be put into quarantine.

New Zealanders returning from overseas pose the highest risk when it comes to Covid-19 and as it's been revealed that with this risk comes big problems.

Upon arrival, those who have appropriate transport and accommodation plans and are without symptoms of the virus have continued home to self-isolate.

Although the Prime Minister said last week that recent arriving Kiwis would be checked on by police, Commissioner Mike Bush says the task has been difficult.

“It was a system issue and it wasn't anything to do with anyone’s intent it was as you can imagine - all that data collected at the border and it was then getting into a system and transferred to the police officers who were then keen to go out and check on compliance it was a logistical system issue which we have worked really hard to correct,” he says.

In the last 24 hours, police have finally been able to track more than 4,000 returned Kiwis via their mobile phones.

“They then get a text from us ‘please reply, turn on your location services and if it is okay with you we will be able to monitor where you are,’” says Commissioner Bush.

It’s a voluntary system meaning there is no obligation and the National Party says relying on trust is not good enough.

“I think the Prime Minister now has to show leadership and do something very simple but very clear and that's quarantine all Kiwis who are returning,” National Party leader Simon Bridges told 1 NEWS.

The confusion has been ongoing for some returning Kiwis stopped at the border.

About 1500 people have been placed in hotels and some say there has been a lack of communication from the Government.

“The rules change on us every day, one minute we're allowed out, next minute we're not,” says returnee, Tom Hill who is trying to get home to Nelson.

“After hearing no news whatsoever people are starting to get a bit frustrated with it all,” he says.