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Coronavirus

Man Arrested after New Zealand Quarantine Escape

September 2, 2021

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A man in New Zealand who had tested positive for the coronavirus faces criminal charges after he escaped from an Auckland quarantine hotel and returned home, according to authorities.

In New Zealand, people who test positive for the virus are routinely required to isolate in hotels run by the military. Authorities believe the man escaped early Thursday and was on the run for about 12 hours before police — dressed in full protective gear — arrested him about 10 kilometers (6 miles) away.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told reporters it wasn’t yet clear how the man escaped the hotel, although closed circuit cameras showed a man hiding in a bush when a security guard walked past.

Under a new COVID-19 law passed last year, the man could face a fine or up to six months in jail if found guilty of failing to comply with a health order. New Zealand is currently battling an outbreak of the delta variant in Auckland.

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