Taxpayers to foot bill for extra weeks Australian spent in MIQ after refusing Covid-19 tests

Source: 1News

Taxpayers will foot the bill for the extra weeks an Australian woman who refused to be tested for Covid-19 stayed in a Wellington managed isolation facility.

1 NEWS politics editor Jessica Mutch McKay says Lucinda Baulch will only have to pay the standard rate of $3100 for the first 14 days of her 28 day stay, which ended this evening with a generic health check.

"The taxpayer will have to pick up the rest of the tab," Mutch McKay says.

Baulch spoke to 1 NEWS outside the Grand Mercure Wellington upon leaving this evening.

The qualified vet nurse says she will stay in Auckland for "a night or two" before flying back to Australia.

National leader Judith Collins today called for Baulch to be deported.

"If a New Zealander went to Australia and refused to get tested in an MIQ facility, what do you think would happen to them?" Collins said.

"They'd be back on a plane to New Zealand."

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says it's Baulch's right to refuse a test and she does plan to return back to Australia anyway.

Lucinda Baulch leaving Grand Mercure, Wellington.

Earlier in her stay, Baulch told RNZ about her plans to take the New Zealand Government to court once released.

"The New Zealand Government is clearly very confident in the protocol they are using, and that's fantastic — get me on the same page.

"Because if you can prove with evidence, I am a loyal advocate, that's the thing, at the moment I just haven't had the assurances.

"I was very surprised with the lack of response or attempt to provide me with the information."

Upon leaving the MIQ facility she told 1 NEWS she still plans on taking legal action, which she thinks has a good chance of being successful.

She said if she was given certain information which she had requested then she would have consented to a Covid-19 test.

"As someone with a medical background and knowing the importance of informed consent, for my own peace of mind I really need that informed consent. I'm entitled to it, it's a right, it's an obligation of the party offering a consent form. For me, that's quite an important step."