A New Zealand court on Friday sentenced a woman to 14 days in prison for escaping from a COVID-19 isolation facility, according to local media.
The 37-year-old woman was sentenced by a local court in the Auckland District, Radio New Zealand reported.
The court also sentenced his 18-year-old daughter, but that rule was later withdrawn.
The woman faces charges for violating the 2020 COVID-19 Public Health Response Act and leaving the quarantine facility in July before completing 14 days of isolation.
According to her lawyers, the woman and her three children fled the hotel in Te Rapa on July 24 after flying from Brisbane to attend her husband’s funeral over an unexpected death.
“The defendant’s motivation was to shut down his children and in desperation, when it seemed they were running out of time, he made a move to get out,” the radio quoted female lawyer Joseph Hamblett as telling the court.
The judge announced a prison sentence for the woman for not complying with quarantine rules while accepting a lawyer request to release the teenager because she followed her mother’s instructions in a sad state.
“This is also a very realistic sad situation. Your father died suddenly and unexpectedly. I accept that you have a very close relationship with him,” said the judge.
“I suppose that wanting to see your father and say goodbye before his funeral has the effect of overriding a decision that might make sense.”
The maximum penalty in New Zealand for failing to comply with orders under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 is six months imprisonment or a $ 4000 fine.
New Zealand has so far recorded 1,866 coronavirus cases with 25 deaths while 1,800 people have recovered, according to the Health Ministry.