Two remaining Crowne Plaza thoroughfare users found

Anna Whyte
Source: 1News

The two members of the public that were being looked for after using the atrium thoroughfare during the time the Covid-19 positive NSW returnee was in the Crowne Plaza lobby, have been found. 

Perspex wall in Auckland Crowne Plaza lobby.

Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield Tuesday said the two people had been identified and were being interviewed.

It came after police helped with the search, after the Ministry of Health revealed on Monday there was a "possibility of air flow" between the atrium thoroughfare at the Crowne Plaza while the NSW returnee thought to be the source of the Delta outbreak was in the lobby. 

It was looking for six people who used the thoroughfare. 

Four had been found and tested, while the other two were still being looked for until today. 

Experts had expressed concern over the perspex wall used to separate the areas. 

Auckland University microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles told 1 NEWS the wall was incapable of stopping the potential spread of Covid from an isolating traveller to a passing member of the public.

A vaccination centre is also in the building, with a number of people telling 1 NEWS they lined up alongside the wall waiting for their jab.

Dr Bloomfield said he was confident those running the centre would be taking appropriate precautions. 

Others have seen returnees standing right beside the perspex talking to what appears to be friends or family over it.

Dr Bloomfield said today there had been "nearly six months where we've had no Covid in the community, that MIQ facility along with 30 other have been serving the community well in terms of keeping Covid out of the community".

"I think all of our arrangements are incredibly solid, the fact the virus escaped on this occasion does not mean there's a problem there.

"Of course every MIQ we will be going back and looking and making sure what can we learn from this particular incident and is there anything we can do to strengthen the security even further."

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said the Crowne Plaza had been emptied out from its current cohort.

That gives us an opportunity to take a look again at how that's going before any new people come in there."

Last night, a person tweeted that they worked next door to the hotel and that they had emailed and called Healthline.

Dr Bloomfield commented on the tweet the next morning saying someone would be in touch. The person followed up by saying they were told the last two people had been found. Opposition leader Judith Collins who was tagged in the tweet also replied.  

On Thursday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said genome sequencing found the community Delta outbreak in Auckland was a "close match" to a recent returnee from Sydney who stayed at the Crowne Plaza.

Further testing of the New South Wales traveller gave more confidence of the timing of when Covid-19 came into New Zealand and spread into the community," the  Prime Minister said at the 1pm  briefing.