Exemption for medical reasons

You can apply for a medical exemption before you travel to New Zealand if you have exceptional medical needs and may require hospital-level care.

Facilities are equipped to handle medical needs

Managed isolation facilities are equipped to handle most of your medical needs, unless hospital admission is required. This includes access to kaupapa Māori services. Our dedicated on-site medical staff can support a range of care requirements, including phone or in-person consultations with a general practitioner (GP) and assistance with any prescribed medications.

Who can apply

You can apply for a medical exemption if:

  • you have an urgent medical condition requiring hospital-level care
  • you have a medical condition that cannot be addressed at the facility and need to isolate in a hospital or an approved location
  • you have to attend a medical appointment that cannot wait until you finish your 7-day isolation period. It’s important to remember such releases will only be a temporary arrangement and you will need to return to the isolation facility after your appointment. 

Medical evacuation exemption

If you are being evacuated from overseas to a New Zealand hospital for urgent health care, an urgent medical evacuation exemption is required, managed by the Ministry of Health. The relevant DHB or medical facility will apply on your behalf.

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

Find out about other types of exemptions

How to apply

If your treating doctors 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 will 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 arrival details – either expected or actual date and time of arrival in New Zealand and the flight number
  • the city you’re arriving at and the country you left from.

Medical information you will need:

  • 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 7 days in isolation is complete or to be held virtually or over the phone.

Complete an online application form via the customer portal

Use the customer portal to apply for an exemption for medical reasons:

  • click on the link below to sign up to create an account, including a login and password.
  • once you have logged in, you can fill out your exemption application form.

You can return to the customer portal via this page at any time to check on the status of your application, or resume a draft request that you have saved. Bookmark the link below for quick access to the portal to see your application.

You can also use this account to make a request on behalf of someone else.

Note: This customer portal login is different from your Managed Isolation Allocation System (MIAS) login details you use to book your voucher.

Apply for an exemption for medical reasons(external link)

Guide to the customer portal

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If you need help registering, completing or submitting the form, email:


If you have queries once you have submitted your form, email:


What happens next

Exemptions are approved in only very limited circumstances. We look at the supporting documentation provided and seek an independent medical assessment.

If required, Medical Officers of Health 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 7 days is complete, the health risk to the community and the ability to manage that risk.

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 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.

Applications are processed based on urgency. We’ll contact you to let you know the outcome of your application, or if we need more information. You can check the status of the application by logging onto the account you will create to make the application.

Login to the customer portal for exemption requests (external link)

The final decision is made by either of the Joint Heads of Managed Isolation and Quarantine.

If you have 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.

Last updated: 21 November 2021