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Isolating after long trip home

Susan Destounis was in Auckland for a friend's 60th birthday when the alert level change came through.

She is now quarantining at home in Gisborne for seven days because of the move between alert levels.

Mrs Destounis said her work had asked her to isolate for that time as that was the message on television this morning.

“I wasn't actually at any of the places of interest, or the suburbs affected, but apparently that's what the TV has said for people coming from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2.”

Mrs Destounis drove home yesterday and got stuck in the traffic queue of people trying to leave Auckland.

“It took just under two hours to get out of Auckland. It felt like a really long time as I had left my water bottle in the hotel.

“I was at a complete stop for about half an hour, then creeping forward very slowly.

“It was a long queue of traffic. You could see up ahead the traffic to the corner, then you'd get up there and there would be another huge stretch of traffic.

“It was very long but to be fair when I came out the other side the queue coming back into Auckland was way longer.”

Mrs Destounis finally got off at the Mercer Road turn-off.

A police officer at the checkpoint stopped her to ask where she was going.

“I said ‘home to Gisborne'. He said ‘that's a long way' but waved us through.

“I was shocked. I had my licence ready but they didn't check that so I'm not sure how they decide who is being honest.”

Mrs Destounis said it was noticeable in Auckland that people were “quite tense” about Covid-19.

“One thing I did feel while you're up there was that you could catch it quite easily. You're in the city — it could be anywhere.

“In Gisborne we really are quite lucky not to have to think every day, ‘have I come into contact with it?'

“We are very lucky here.”