A man who escaped a managed isolation facility in central Auckland roamed the city for eight hours before returning, according to the head of the MIQ facilities.

The man, deported from Australia, allegedly escaped the Ramada Hotel on Federal St yesterday. A number of bedsheets were found tied together and hanging from his window on the fourth floor.

As the investigation continues, Air Commodore Darryn Webb, head of MIQ, says the man had escaped shortly after midnight. 

CCTV footage captured him seen on foot in Aotea Square at around 1am, while other CCTV footage shows him roaming around the city. 

“Enquiries have established the man likely absconded shortly after midnight before returning to the facility on foot at 8.24am. The matter is still under investigation and some details about his movements are yet to be confirmed,” Webb says.

“The man has been viewed on CCTV walking in parts of Auckland, from the central city to Newmarket, Epsom, Onehunga and Mt Albert before returning to the facility on Federal Street.”

The man had twice tested negative for Covid-19 and the escape is considered to be “of low public health risk”, Webb says.

He has not been charged at this point.

Authorities are planning to ramp security at the facility to prevent further escapes.

“Security improvements at the facility will be made and include the installation of additional CCTV cameras as well as extra lighting at the likely point of the man’s alleged exit,” Webb says.

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