Travellers from Australia
Information for travellers from Australia following the delay of Step One of Reconnecting New Zealand. There are currently 4 options available for travellers from Australia to travel to New Zealand.
On 21 December 2021, the Government announced several measures to reduce the risks posed by Omicron.
One of these measures was to delay Step One for Reconnecting New Zealand until the end of February 2022 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).
There are currently 4 options for travellers from Australia to travel to New Zealand.
1. MIQ for 3 specific groups of people
MIQ has been 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Airlines are in contact with the majority of travellers who fit the above criteria to make arrangements for them to enter MIQ. If you belong to one of the above 3 groups and have not yet been contacted then please email us with evidence of your original flight bookings both to and from Australia.
Due to volume of requests, we will not be able to assist with queries from people outside these 3 groups.
Travellers remain responsible for paying the cost of their travel and the cost of MIQ, and may not be able to travel on their preferred date if MIQ rooms are unavailable.
As of 10 January, MIQ has issued 430 people with vouchers, and are working with the remainder of eligible travellers.
2. New Emergency Allocation category
A temporary emergency allocation category is being implemented for New Zealand citizens in Australia who face significant and severe hardship if they do not return to New Zealand by the end of February. Applications will be accepted between 13 January and 13 February, for travel to occur within 14 days.
This new category is available for New Zealand citizens and their partners/dependents that made significant steps between 24 November and 22 December 2021 to return to New Zealand between 17 January to 29 February on the basis that Step One would be implemented and would face significant issues if their travel is delayed beyond that timeframe.
Examples include the sale of homes or termination of leases, resigning from their job, and/or acceptance of employment in New Zealand which cannot be delayed.
Applicants need to fit at least one of the following:
- Significant financial hardship: where a delay in travelling to New Zealand beyond the end of February will result in significant financial hardship; and/or
- Unsafe or insecure living situation: where a delay in travelling to New Zealand beyond the end of February will result in homelessness or an otherwise unsafe living condition.
All applications will require evidence that:
- The individual/family had booked travel between 24 November and 22 December 2021 for between 17 January and 28 February 2022; and
- That between 24 November and 22 December 2021, the individual/family took other significant steps that mean their travel to New Zealand cannot be delayed beyond the end of February.
Applications will continue to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, against the set criteria. If someone has had previous applications declined and feels they meet the new criteria, they will need to submit a new application.
How to Apply
There will be information about this category and how to apply on the Emergency Allocation page from the week starting 10 January.
3. Virtual Lobby room releases
Flights from Australia
MIQ is working with government agencies and airlines in relation to the delayed border opening and possible flight schedules for red flights in March and April.
Currently airlines do not have any red flights scheduled from Australia for March or April. Red flights mean travellers need to spend time in MIQ. As a result, flights from Australia are currently not available in the MIQ flight checker, which is the tool travellers use to link a voucher for MIQ.
Months to be released
The move to a 10-day MIQ stay has resulted in a reduction in overall MIQ capacity.
As a substantial number of rooms have already been booked for January and February from room releases last year, and the need to accommodate additional groups (including those from Australia in the above criteria), we are unlikely to release any more vouchers for January or February.
Number of rooms to be released
Given the complexity of managing the Omicron and Delta variants, MIQ needs to closely monitor our operating capacity.
For this reason, the next few room releases may be smaller than usual, and focused on March and April.
4. Reconnecting New Zealand
The final option is for travellers to wait until the review of Step One of Reconnecting New Zealand in late February.
More information can be found on our Entering New Zealand in 2022 webpage.