Saturday, November 27

Security increased at Auckland Airport after student lockdown violations

Security checks have been tightened at Auckland Airport after two students were caught breaking lockdown rules when flying out of the city.

Auckland airport

Auckland airport
Photo: 123RF

In recent days, a Victoria University student flew from Auckland to Wellington without an exemption.

A student at the University of Otago flew from Auckland to Dunedin.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said this was “disappointing.”

“These people should not travel, potentially there will be consequences for them, for breaking the rules.”

He said he would check that airport security was working as it should.

“They should be checked even before they enter the airport terminal. Above level four restrictions, and I just want to check to make sure this works absolutely as it has before, there have been people at the terminal gate of the airport to check why people are entering the terminal, even before they can approach the plane. “

Tonight, the Aviation Security Service said it made changes when it realized that some passengers were not following the rules.

When level four started, security officers only asked for travel documents, such as a boarding pass or travel itinerary, when people entered airports.

But the changes started yesterday morning.

Now, a passenger had to show his boarding pass, an eligibility document and was asked why he was traveling.

If they did not meet the requirements they could not enter and if they objected the police were called.

If the police were not available, they would be “handed over” to the airport company.

The universities explained the details of each case.

A spokesperson for Wellington’s Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University said a resident of Te Puni Village, an accommodation hall, returned Sunday after violating government travel orders.

“It appears that they and their family did not fully understand the government’s guidelines,” the spokesperson said.

“The resident has tested negative for COVID-19 and is isolated in alternative university accommodation. The resident reported that he has not been to any places of interest posted on the Ministry of Health website. Our investigations show that the resident had no close contact with anyone in the hallway. “

They said the matter had been referred to the police.

A spokesman for the University of Otago said the university could not comment on the particular situation as it was subject to a police investigation.

However, they confirmed that the student lived in an apartment and the university ensured that his roommates did not reside at the same address.

“All students, along with all other New Zealanders, are required to obey the government alert level guidelines. We have been impressed with the way students generally have complied with government rules. We communicate regularly with students and provide them with we will report back when government rules allow them to return south to study. “

Police confirmed that they had issued two notices of violation to two people who flew in from Auckland without exemptions on Monday.

The fine for the violation is $ 300.

Auckland Airport has been contacted for comment.

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