Three teens arrested after leaving COVID-19 quarantine compound in Australia

Australian police have arrested three people who broke out of a Covid quarantine compound in the middle of the night.

The Howard Springs centre near Darwin in the Northern Territory is one of Australia’s main quarantine facilities for people returning to the country.

Police said the trio scaled a fence to break out of the facility. Officers found them after a manhunt on Wednesday. All had tested negative to Covid the day before, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said at a press conference.

Mr Gunner said there was a very low risk to the community. “The health risk to the community was very low, so that does give cause for comfort.” He, however, added that there was “absolutely no excuse for the actions of these three this morning”.

Mr Gunner said the teenagers’ escape could mean that their quarantine will now be extended. “Absconding from Howard Springs isn’t just dangerous — it is incredibly stupid. Because we will catch you and there will be consequences,” he said.

The teens were reportedly in the facility as they were close contacts of a positive case. It was reported that hundreds of households and close contacts of positive cases have been taken to the facility for quarantine.

This is the second escape from the same facility in recent weeks. A 27-year-old man escaped the facility too by scaling the fence last Friday. Officials are still investigating this incident.




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