Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Auckland couple used essential-worker status to fly to Wanaka holiday home

Police say an Auckland couple crossed the alert level 4 border using their essential-worker exemptions, drove to Hamilton Airport and flew to their holiday home in Wanaka this weekend.

The 26-year-old woman and 35-year-old man have been summoned to appear in court next week.

“This calculated and deliberate flouting of the alert level 4 restrictions is completely unacceptable,” said a police spokesperson. “And extremely upsetting to all those who are working hard and making great sacrifices in order to stamp out Covid in our community.”

Police say the couple will be prosecuted under the current Health Order for failing to return to their place of residence within the alert level 4 area after leaving for approved essential personal movement.

Three other people claiming to be essential workers tried to cross the alert level boundary at the Mangatawhiri Road/State Highway 2 checkpoint on Saturday.

They presented checkpoint staff with a document containing the letterhead of an essential business, but after police questioning they admitted they did not have an exemption or the correct documents.

Police issued them a warning and recorded their details, with enforcement action possible if they breach restrictions again.

Officers at the Orams Rd checkpoint also stopped a drunk driver trying to travel northbound into Auckland overnight. The driver was taken to Huntly for EBA procedures.

“It is fortunate this driver did not cause any harm to themselves or any other road users overnight,” police said.

Sixty-seven people have been charged with 71 offences in Tāmaki Makaurau under alert level 4 so far, the majority of them for failing to comply with Covid-19 restrictions.

Police have received more than 7500 reports online and through the 105 phone line about breaches relating to businesses and mass gatherings of people in Auckland.

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