Backpacker is ARRESTED in New Zealand after telling hostel staff she had no plans to self-isolate – with two more travellers to be deported
- Police arrested a female traveller at the Rucksacker Backpacker Hostel
- The manager explained that the backpacker did not have plans to self isolate
- Two people from South East Asia are in custody after failing to self isolate
A backpacker has been arrested and a couple will be deported from New Zealand after failing to self isolate.
Police arrested a female traveller at the Rucksacker Backpacker Hostel in Christchurch at 11.30am on Tuesday.
Witnesses saw a woman in a face mask being transported in a prisoner van and several officers talking to other backpackers, Stuff reported.
The woman is the first person to be deported after New Zealand’s 14-day self isolation rule kicked in at 1am on Monday.
The manager of the hostel said that the woman checked in late on Monday night while wearing a face mask.
Witnesses saw a woman in a face mask being transported in a prisoner van and several officers talking to other backpackers (pictured)
She was originally booked into a dorm but asked for a private room.
The manager said: ‘I put her into a private room and then in the morning when I got up to open reception there was a lady from the Ministry of Health here coming to check on her and ask what her plans were for her isolation.’
‘They were just questioning her for a little bit in my office. And then a couple of hours later we had about five police officers and another person from the ministry and they eventually took her away.’
The manager explained that the backpacker was taken away as she did not have any plans to self isolate.
‘She didn’t have a hotel booked or Airbnb booked or anything like that … because of that they had to take her away and put her back on a flight to where she came from,’ the manager said.
The Director General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield, told reporters that there was a traveller in Christchurch who was unwilling to commit herself to self isolation and would be deported as a result.
Dr Bloomfield sympathised with the traveller and said: ‘I can understand why someone who might’ve planned a trip for a long time, two weeks in New Zealand, might be disappointed to find at the eleventh hour that they can’t travel around the country.’
Dr Bloomfield said this was the first deportation he knew about but that security would be ramping up.
‘We are also starting from today, the spot checks on people,’ he said.
Dr Bloomfield said that health staff were now stationed at the borders to quiz people about their plans for self-isolation.
Police arrested a female traveller at the Rucksacker Backpacker Hostel in Christchurch at 11.30am on Tuesday
He said that anyone who knew of a traveller that was not self-isolating should notify customs or Healthline.
A spokesperson from Immigration New Zealand told Daily Mail Australia that two people from South East Asia were in custody and going to be deported after failing to self isolate.
INZ compliance and verification general manager Stephen Vaughan told New Zealand Herald their behaviour was ‘unacceptable’.
‘This kind of behaviour is completely irresponsible and will not be tolerated which is why these individuals have been made liable for deportation,’ he said.
The couple are currently in quarantine.
If they fail to leave the country after the quarantine period, they will be arrested under the Immigration Act.
‘Being deported has serious consequences,’ Mr Vaughan said.
‘It means individuals will be banned from returning to New Zealand for a period of time and they may also find it difficult to travel to other countries.’