First step in managed isolation changes - Shortened MIQ stay for travellers who are vaccinated
Hon Chris Hipkins has announced:
Halving of time overseas arrivals spend in MIQ facility to seven days followed by home isolation until they return a negative day 9 test, from 14 November
Expanded quarantine free travel for eligible one-way travellers from some Pacific nations, from 8 November
Phased easing of border restrictions will see home isolation increasingly used for vaccinated overseas arrivals in Q1 2022
The Government is starting a phased easing of border restrictions that will see the time spent in an MIQ facility halved for overseas arrivals from 14 November and home isolation introduced in the first quarter of 2022 at the latest.
It is also expanding one-way quarantine free travel with some Pacific nations in the first step in the Government’s phased plan to carefully reconnect New Zealand with the world.
The easing of MIQ requirements is part of the broader plan to reopen New Zealand safely and reconnect with the world.
Arrivals will be tested on day 0/1, day 3, and day 6/7 testing, followed by a short period of self-isolation at home – around three days.
A rapid antigen test and health checks will be carried out on day seven before a person leaves MIQ, and people will get a PCR test on day 9 of their home isolation and stay at home until the result comes back.
This evolution of MIQ will initially free up more than 1500 rooms a month. These spaces will enable two things; they’ll allow rooms to continue to support the Auckland outbreak and some additional rooms will be available and will add to the vouchers being released next week.
The second stage of the Government's plan will see New Zealand moving towards having more vaccinated people able to self-isolate at home instead of in MIQ. This option will be made available to increasing numbers of fully vaccinated travellers in the first quarter of 2022.
Fees, exemption and exception frameworks and isolate at home guidelines will be updated during the next three weeks. From 14 November, the self-isolation period for business travellers in the pilot will also be shortened to 10 days.
The Government is also expanding one-way quarantine free travel from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu to include travellers from those countries and Tokelau who have the right to reside permanently in New Zealand and people covered by border exceptions, from 8 November.
Travellers must be fully vaccinated, unless they are New Zealand citizens. RSE workers are currently required to have at least one dose, and will be required to be fully vaccinated from 1 January 2022.
Due to the low risk in these countries, travellers will not need to provide a negative test before leaving or isolate on arrival in New Zealand. “Standard QFT requirements will remain in place – that is, the requirement for passengers to confirm they meet health and eligibility requirements, and to complete Nau Mai Rā. The full list of requirements will be on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.
The existing quarantine free travel arrangements with the Cook Islands and Niue will be maintained.