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Ed Sheeran

Tourists abusing isolation privilege
Photo: Tairawhiti Covid-19 Community Safety Checkpoints.

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An organiser of checkpoints within Ngāti Porou says they are picking up far too many cases of tourists isolating in campervans

Tina Ngata says from elderly tourists to people who want to hide out in a campervan or a book-a-bach, the message is the same - go back home.

While the outsiders promise not to interact with locals, there is no guarantee that can happen or that four weeks of supplies will be enough and if they are involved in an emergency, the East Coast only has two paramedics.

There is also a fear that low immunity levels means COVID-19 could spread quickly.

"We're asking that people please listen to the directions of government and police which is to stay in your home. Isolation tourism to me is an abuse of privilege really because for those of us that live here, we don't have anywhere else to flee to. This is our home. They need to stay in their home and allow us to stay safely in our home," Ms Ngata says.

She says the checkpoints are also showing up which of their own whānau are too mobile, and they are being urged to take the lockdown seriously.

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