Exemption for medical reasons

You can apply for a medical exemption if you have exceptional reasons or your medical or other needs cannot be met in the managed isolation facility. Our dedicated on-site medical staff can support a range of care requirements.

Who can apply

You can apply:

  • to isolate away from a managed isolation facility such as in a hospital, if your medical or other needs cannot be met in the facility, or
  • to leave the facility to attend a medical appointment.

If you are being evacuated from overseas to a New Zealand hospital for urgent health care, you will need a medical evacuation exemption from managed isolation, which is different from a medical exemption. An urgent medical evacuation exemption is managed by the Ministry of Health with the relevant DHB or medical facility who will need to apply on your behalf.

Ministry of Health COVID-19 – Border controls(external link)

Other exemptions because of an exceptional circumstance, to join someone, or transiting NZ

Other requirements to get an exemption

If you believe your medical or physical needs cannot be met in managed isolation facilities, you need clinical evidence from a registered medical practitioner.

To apply to attend a medical appointment, you’ll need to supply information from a health practitioner. This should confirm its urgency and inability to be held after your 14 days in isolation is complete, or to be held virtually or over the phone.

Travel plan

If an exemption is granted, in almost all cases the New Zealand Government will provide any transport required to mitigate public health risks. This will be in your agreed release plan.

How to apply

If you think you’ll need to be transferred direct to hospital on arrival you should apply before you book your travel to New Zealand. This allows us to organise your transport and other isolation requirements.

Get the information you’ll need ready

You’ll need:

  • the full name on the passport you use to enter New Zealand and check into the facility
  • your date of birth
  • your passport number
  • your planned date of arrival in New Zealand, or the flight number and date of arrival and time if they’re booked or you have arrived
  • the city you’re arriving at and the country you left from
  • details of the medical appointment and its urgency or information on the reason why your needs cannot be met
  • evidence from your health provider to support your reasons.


Apply online if you believe you have medical reasons to be considered for an exemption.

Apply for exemption for medical reasons(external link)

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If you need help completing the form or for any other enquiries please email IsolationExemptions@mbie.govt.nz.

What happens next

Your application will be assessed. We’ll contact you if we need more information. 

We run a stringent assessment based on what you request in your application. We look at the supporting documentation provided and conduct a thorough health assessment.

If required, health officers will assess whether the level of care you need can be met by the facility. We also look at whether medical appointments can safely be deferred until your 14 days is complete, the health risk to the community and the ability to manage that risk.

The decisions for medical exemptions depend on the request. A medical officer of health or health protection officer will decide on requests to isolate elsewhere. For requests to leave the facility they will provide advice and the final decision will be made by the Exemptions team.

If your application is considered too high risk for spreading COVID-19, or it is deemed that the risk cannot be appropriately managed, your application will likely be declined.

If your application is successful

If you’re successful we’ll let you know what to do next. You will need to agree to a release plan and follow that. You’ll be monitored as part of the release plan agreement, and all requirements will be strictly enforced until the 14 days is complete.

If you are isolating in a hospital and discharged within 14 days, you need to go to a managed isolation facility to finish your isolation.

If your application is unsuccessful

If your exemption is unsuccessful you will need to complete your 14 days in managed isolation.

New information

If your application is unsuccessful but you now have new information that supports your application, you can resubmit it for assessment. Send your new information to IsolationExemptions@mbie.govt.nz.

Your rights

If you believe you have been treated unfairly, or if you have not received a decision promptly, you can complain directly to the Ombudsman.

Last updated: 11 August 2020