Leaving isolation

Advice on when you will be able to leave managed isolation and your transport home afterwards.

When can you leave managed isolation?

You are required to stay in the isolation facility for a minimum of 10 days. This starts from the time and date you arrive in New Zealand.

For example if you arrived at 11am New Zealand time (NZT) on 1 January, your departure time and date will be 11am NZT on 11 January after you complete a full 10 days of isolation. The day you arrive is counted as ‘Day zero’.

Departure times will be confirmed by staff towards the end of your stay.

Note: In almost all cases, you cannot leave a managed isolation facility unless you have a negative COVID-19 test on day 8/9 and confirmation from a Medical Officer of Health or a Health Protection Officer that you are at low risk of having or transmitting COVID-19.

A young girl laughing at 3 balloons floating above her head.

Pixie Rouge Photography

What to prepare before leaving

Your travel home at the end of your stay is at your own expense and organised by you.

Our onsite support team will work with you to confirm your travel arrangements. Staff will ask you for details about your onward travel plans and this information will be required within the first 4 days of your arrival.

Have a travel plan in place

On-site staff will call you to discuss your travel plans during your stay. To assist with this, we encourage you to start thinking about your departure, where you are going to and how you will get there.

Welcome pack - Appendix 2 Discussing your travel plans

Be clear about where you will go next and how you’ll get there

Knowing where you are going next helps organise your check-out and better support you during your departure. Please help us to contact you in future, if necessary, by ensuring your contact details (email, phone, address etc.) are current and correct.

If you live in, or close to, the same city that you are isolating in, you will need to arrange and pay for your own transport from the facility to your next accommodation.

If you are unable to organise your travel, please contact the on-site staff for advice.

Transport back to the airport is available

If you are departing from a facility in Auckland, Skybus tickets are free on request to take you to the Auckland airport. Please note that you will need to organise your own way to the nearest Skybus stop.

If you landed in Auckland but you completed your isolation in another city, we will transport you back to the Auckland airport, unless you indicate otherwise. You will be responsible for arranging and paying for any onward travel from the airport.

It is important that your travel plans are firm before our team books your flight back to Auckland. Flight bookings cannot be changed once they are made (unless in an emergency or due to a flight cancellation).

When you leave

Make sure you have all your luggage with you. Comply with the public health measures indicated in your departure letter. You are required to wear a face mask while on any public transport including flights.

Keep the on-site team informed if your accommodation or travel plans change at any stage during your stay.

Ensure your post-departure contact details are correct. This helps the Ministry of Health contact you after leaving the facility if they need to.

Final health check before you can leave the facility

In order to leave managed isolation, we need to make sure you are healthy and unlikely to pass on COVID-19 to anybody else. In almost all cases, a negative day 8/9 COVID-19 test and confirmation from a health practitioner that you are at low risk of having or transmitting COVID-19 are needed before you can leave.

Low risk of having or transmitting COVID-19 includes confirming you have:

  • been in managed isolation for at least 10 days
  • no symptoms consistent with COVID-19, which can include fever, sore throat, cough, or difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
  • not had a temperature of 38°C or higher
  • in almost all cases, tested negative for COVID-19 on day 8/9
  • a negative Rapid Antigen Test result on your scheduled departure day if required.

You must meet these criteria to leave the facility. Upon completing your 10-day isolation period and your final health assessment, you will need to complete a Final Health Check Form. A nurse will help you with this and sign it off.

You will receive a letter confirming you have completed managed isolation and will be allowed to travel to your next destination, as per your agreed travel plans.

When preparing to exit your room please follow your facility’s information sheet or call reception to see what you can do to help prepare your room to be cleaned.

If you refuse a COVID-19 test or are not considered a low risk, your stay will be extended and you may not be allowed to leave the facility. You can be required to stay up to a total of 20 days.

We may also extend your stay if any cases are detected in the facility that require further investigation. This is to reduce the risk of COVID-19 getting out into the community.

Keeping safe after you leave MIQ

It is strongly advised that for the 7 days after you leave MIQ that you adhere to the following:

  • Watch for any COVID-19 symptoms in your group, or in yourself. If you notice any ― however mild ― get your free test as quickly as possible.
    Find a list of COVID-19 testing centres(external link) ― healthpoint.co.nz
  • Use a well-fitting mask on public transport, and when in indoor public spaces, unless eating or drinking.
  • Avoid visiting anyone who for any reason may be vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • Avoid visiting a rest home.  
  • Avoid large gatherings, including weddings, funerals or tangi.  
  • Use the NZ COVID Tracer app, whenever you see a QR code, with the Bluetooth function enabled. If you do not have a smartphone, keep a written record of where you go. 
  • If you are eligible for your free vaccine booster, get one as soon as possible. This is likely to offer far greater protection against infection with and transmission of COVID-19, and reduce the chance of serious infection. You can make a booking, or find a walk-in vaccination centre, at: 
    Book My Vaccine(external link)
  • Wash your hands frequently (or use sanitiser), and cough/sneeze into your elbow.
Last updated: 21 January 2022