Security enhancements for managed isolation

Housing Minister Megan Woods. Photo: File/SunLive.

The government has announced that additional security systems will be rolled out to all Managed Isolation and Quarantine Facilities in New Zealand. 

The estimated $6 million rollout is part of an ongoing programme of continual improvement in the managed isolation and quarantine system and follows yesterday’s announcement of a 500-person boost to defence force personnel in manage isolation and quarantine facilities. 

The government will also be commencing a pilot of the COVID card with staff inside a managed isolation facility, with a view to a wider roll out in the coming months.

“Managed isolation and quarantine facilities are commercial hotels with security systems that support the hotel function but there is room to improve these systems to better protect our communities from COVID-19,” Housing Minister Megan Woods says. 

Whilst each facility is very different it is proposed to add the following security enhancements where feasible:

  •   •  Thermal CCTV (night and day vision) around the perimeter with geo-fenced alarming. This technology would create an alarm when people move within a defined area;

  •   •  CCTV in public and exercise areas to monitor distance breaches;

  •   •  CCTV in accommodation corridors to monitor any breaches between rooms;

  •   •  Security Control Room/Desk,

  •   •  Audible alarms on fire exits

  •   •  Electronic access systems to restrict or track movement around a facility.

“Benefits include an increased ability to quickly detect and respond to perimeter breaches and incursions, and breaches of managed isolation and quarantine facility rules and security such as physical distancing and use of PPE," she says. 

"It will also enable better evidence collection to support enforcement action and if necessary police prosecution for non-compliance." 

She says keeping COVID-19 at the border is a priority for the government. 

"These security enhancements are another tool in our toolbox to ensure returnees stay in the facilities and limit risk to the community.

“While no system is fool proof these additional security arrangements add an extra layer of protection to help keep COVID at the border." 

Any additional surveillance will take place only in the public areas of the facilities, not in rooms, she says. 

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