MIQ working with travellers returning to New Zealand following changes to phased border re-opening

Published: 31 December 2021

On 21 December 2021, the Government announced several measures to reduce the risks posed by Omicron.

One of these measures was to delay stage 1 for Reconnecting New Zealand and the opening of the medium risk-pathway that would allow eligible travellers to travel from Australia to New Zealand and self-isolate (instead of entering MIQ) until the end of February 2022, rather than from 17 January 2022 as originally planned.

Omicron: Government’s plan to minimise risk(external link) — Beehive.govt.nz

Australian travellers

MIQ is working to facilitate the return to New Zealand of those people who travelled to Australia and expected to be able to return home after 17 January 2022 and self-isolate for 7 days instead of staying in managed isolation.

MIQ is focusing on 3 groups of people:

  1. People who travelled to Australia following the Government’s announcement on 24 November 2021, and before 22 December 2021, with return tickets to New Zealand from 17 January 2022 onwards. These people did not have a managed isolation voucher as they had expected to return to self-isolate.
  2. People due to travel from Australia between 17 January 2022 and late February 2022 who do hold a voucher but who have been affected by flight cancellations. We are working with airlines and those people to reschedule their vouchers to match up with rescheduled flights.
  3. Those travelling from Australia who held a managed isolation voucher for prior to the end of February who proactively cancelled it thinking they wouldn’t need it as they would be able to self-isolate from 17 January 2022.

MIQ and airlines will be in contact with these travellers over the next 10 days (from 31 December 2021) to make arrangements for them to enter MIQ, if they wish to return before February. Travellers remain responsible for paying the cost of their travel and may not be able to travel on their preferred date.

As of 7 January, MIQ has issued 200 people with vouchers, will issue a further 53 and is working through 250 applications to determine if they meet the criteria.

MIQ emergency allocation

All people with a right to enter New Zealand are also able to apply for an Emergency Allocation for urgent travel if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Emergency allocation requests

This is for emergency cases and supporting evidence is required.

Utilising managed isolation capacity

All people arriving in MIQ are now required to spend 10 days in a facility. A 7-day charge remains in place.

The change to a 10-day stay has had a significant impact on capacity across the MIQ system for January and February. To make best use of our capacity, MIQ is converting the Novotel Ellerslie facility from a quarantine facility back to an isolation facility from early January. This is expected to provide an additional 235 rooms. MIQ asks that any current voucher holders who no longer need their vouchers to please cancel them to help with planning and maximising capacity.

Room release lobby

The next lobby release is scheduled for Thursday 20 January 2022, with more information expected to be provided closer to the date.

Last updated: 07 January 2022