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Women released from MIQ then brought back told decision was a mistake

Two women who were released after spending a day in Covid-19 managed isolation, then brought back again, have been told it was a mistake.  

Kiwi Laura Bunting and Australian Justine Curtis. Source: Supplied

Kiwi Laura Bunting and Australian Justine Curtis were released from the Grand Mercure MIQ facility in Wellington this morning, told by officials they shouldn't have been sent there.

The confusing series of events had left the pair "devastated", having delayed Curtis in being able to fly on to Hastings where her father’s been hospitalised with severe pneumonia. 

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After 1 NEWS raised questions about the women, the ministry of health has apologised, but there's still confusion about the rules of our ever-evolving travel bubble. Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand currently has quarantine-free travel with Victoria, but the pair had been in Queensland the week prior on different trips. 

While the quarantine-free travel didn’t resume until Monday, Covid-negative New Zealand and Australian citizens that normally reside here can fly direct from Queensland without having to isolate. 

Both Bunting and Curtis provided their negative PCR results before flying and weren’t asked anything about their travel history before boarding the plane.

On arrival, they disclosed they had visited Queensland but hadn’t visited locations of interest. 

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New Zealander Justine Curtis and Australian Laura Bunting, who’s a permanent resident in New Zealand, arrived in Wellington from Melbourne on Monday. Source: 1 NEWS

“They said you’re going to have to go into two weeks quarantine, I couldn’t believe it,” Curtis told 1 NEWS earlier this week. 

The pair were taken to managed isolation at the same hotel where 16 mariners from the Viking Bay ship are being kept. 

Bunting and Curtis say they were told if they booked a flight from Wellington to Brisbane, they could then turn around in Brisbane and fly back to New Zealand without having to go through MIQ.

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Two women confused after being released from MIQ after a day, then brought back

After spending just a day at the Grand Mercure before being released, they were taken back to Wellington airport for their Brisbane flight before another hurdle. 

The women say they were kept in the van while Customs, airport and Air New Zealand officials met to discuss the situation.

“There was probably about 12 people there … basically they said ‘we found out about this late last night, we haven't been able to put you on the plane’. We were sent back to quarantine even though we'd actually been let go.”