Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Pullman Hotel Managed Isolation Facility Reopens

The Pullman Hotel managed isolation facility reopened to returnees this morning, following an intensive deep cleaning process, a thorough investigation by health officials and changes to its operating model, says Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine, Brigadier Jim Bliss.

The carefully considered reopening follows a series of actions taken in response to recent cases who tested positive after completing managed isolation at the Pullman.

“The health and wellbeing of returnees and staff at this facility has been a top priority,” Brigadier Bliss said.

“That’s why the facility was completely emptied of returnees while health officials investigated the recent cases, and an intensive deep cleaning process was carried out.

“We have carefully considered the findings from the investigation, the actions taken since the cases were detected and have deemed it’s safe for returnees to return to what has been a very important facility for our response.

“Having the Pullman back online means the flow of Kiwis returning to New Zealand can continue without impediment.

“Investigations into the cases are ongoing and it’s possible we may never identify the exact cause of transmission but it’s believed there were three separate events.

“Genome sequencing confirmed all three cases had the variant first identified in South Africa and current research suggests that this and other new variants are more transmissible than previous variants.

“There is increasing evidence people can get infected if very small droplets remain suspended in the air. The risk of this sort of airborne transmission becomes higher in closed spaces with poor ventilation.

“The reports indicate that multiple factors contributed to the cases around the Pullman. The Ministry of Health has provided advice to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) - who are responsible for Managed Isolation and Quarantine - on how the Pullman and its 272 rooms can safely be reopened.

“Those recommendations focused primarily on ventilation, the hotel’s lifts and reducing the amount of movement around the facility. All the recommendations have been actioned and health advice is that the facility is safe to re-open.

Actions are:

· changes have been made to the way the Pullman’s corridor ventilation system is used, following an assessment of the ventilation system

· corridor ventilation will operate 24 hours a day, as opposed to the two hours a day at the time of these incidents. This will significantly reduce the risk of airborne transmission

· returnees will be advised to close all windows and trickle vents in their rooms before they open their door. This will encourage air to move from the corridor into the room, rather than having the air going out into the shared corridor

· returnees will be limited in the times they are permitted to leave their rooms to set schedules. The upgrade of the Pullman’s CCTV system, which is now complete, will help monitor compliance with these movement restrictions

· lifts are considered one of the most high-risk common areas in the facility. Air filtration systems will be installed in the lifts over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, the use of these lifts will be reduced to significantly mitigate this risk

“All of these measures are on top of already robust infection prevention and control measures which include physical distancing, the use of masks, hand sanitising and enhanced cleaning protocols in shared and high movement areas.

“While the Pullman has been unavailable, MIQ have been holding back cancelled vouchers that would normally have been returned to the system. From Monday these vouchers will start to be released again.

“The Pullman will operate at 50 per cent capacity for the first 2 weeks, while air filtration is being installed in the lifts,” said Brigadier Bliss.

“I would like to acknowledge the entire Pullman MIQ team for their efforts getting ready for the reopening today and say thanks to all of those New Zealanders trying to get home for their patience while this facility was off-line.

“The Pullman is a very important facility for our response. It has consistently performed highly in infection prevention and control audits and receives excellent feedback from returnees. It will be good to see it return to full capacity soon.

“MIQ has always been about continuous improvement. We are a learning organisation and what we have learned at the Pullman has resulted in us refining processes across all 32 facilities - all with the aim of protecting returnees, staff and all New Zealanders.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On How National’s ”New” Welfare Plan Resurrects A Past Failure

Sam Uffindell’s defenders keep reminding us that he was only 16 at the time of the King’s College incident, and haven’t we all done things in our teens that, as adults, we look back on with shame and embarrassment? True. Let's be honest. Haven’t we all at one time or another, joined a gang and beaten a smaller, younger kid black and blue with wooden clubs? In that respect, Uffindell’s defenders on the streets of Tauranga risk sounding a bit like the psychiatrist Kargol played by Graham Chapman on Monty Python. Some of the media commentary has also noted how the Uffindell saga has taken the shine off National’s good poll results and distracted us all from the unveiling of an important welfare policy at the recent National Patty conference. OK… So let's put the spotlight back on that welfare policy...


National: Food Prices Climb Taking Kiwis Backwards
Kiwi families continue to battle runaway food prices, National’s Finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says... More>>

Transport & Infrastructure: Have Your Say On The Future Of Inter-regional Passenger Rail In New Zealand

The Transport and Infrastructure Committee has opened an inquiry into the future of inter-regional passenger rail in New Zealand. The aim of the inquiry is to find out what the future could hold for inter-regional passenger rail... More>>

National: Sam Uffindell Stood Down Pending Investigation
Tauranga MP Sam Uffindell has been stood down from the National Party caucus pending an investigation into further allegations about his past behaviour, says National Party Leader Christopher Luxon... More>>

Government: Tax Break To Boost Long-term Rental Supply
The Government is encouraging more long-term rental options by giving developers tax relief for as long as the homes are held as long-term rentals, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced... More>>

National: NZ Migrant Arrivals Hit Lowest Mark Since 1990s
Today’s net migration figures show that Labour has failed to deliver the desperately needed skilled migrants they promised, meaning labour shortages will persist into the future, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says... More>>

Green Party: Abuse Revelations Leave No Choice But To Overhaul RSE Scheme
The Green Party is calling on the Government to overhaul the Recognised Seasonal Employers scheme in the wake of revelations of shocking human rights violations... More>>




InfoPages News Channels