Schools, employers insist on quarantine

Tuesday March 17, 2020 Written by Published in Health

Increasing numbers of workers are quarantining themselves on their return from overseas travel, at the request of their employers.


Schools, too, are asking families to keep their children home for two weeks after they return from trips to New Zealand and further afield.

Government advisor Trevor Pitt returned home from Hawai’i with Prime Minister Henry Puna yesterday, scraping in a few hours before the country’s border control restrictions came into effect last night.

Pitt said they had been advised by email and text about the requirements for a health check.

“Everyone is screened at Auckland airport before flying home,” he said. “Zone B at the check-in was designated for the screening.

“We received a series of questions about our movements in and out of New Zealand and whether we'd had any contact with suspected cases, and no, we hadn’t.”

Each passenger had their temperature taken with an ear thermometer. 

“It was very quick and efficient.”

Before leaving Rarotonga on March 10, Pitt was informed he would need to fulfil a 14-day stand-down upon his return – a rule set in place not by Immigration or Health, but by his employer, the Police Service.

“The Commissioner had already instituted that rule for all Police staff; at present I am one of at least six staff in self-quarantine mode, who have travelled and returned.”

The requirement is not a problem for Pitt as he works remotely sometimes anyway.

However, Pitt is mindful to be careful at home and stay out of reach of the other members of his family, and to be careful in his movements.

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