Exemption for medical reasons

You can apply for a medical exemption 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 14-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, 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.

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

See Exemptions from managed isolation for information about other exemptions.

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

Complete an online application form

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

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

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 and within 5–7 working days. We’ll contact you to let you know the outcome of your application, or if we need more information.

The final decision is made either by the Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine or by the MBIE Deputy Chief Executive for 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: 10 September 2020