Exemptions from managed isolation

Managed isolation is an important part of keeping COVID-19 out of New Zealand, but we know there are people facing exceptional circumstances.

We need to balance your circumstances with our need to protect the New Zealand public from COVID-19.

What an exemption is

Any exemption is from being in managed isolation, not from having to isolate.

Generally, releases from managed isolation will only be issued in very limited circumstances, and where the public health risk is low and can be managed.

You will still need to isolate for the rest of your 14 days from the time you arrived in New Zealand. In rare instances, this may be in an approved location but is likely to be back at the managed isolation facility.

Everyone who receives an exemption must agree to, and follow, the strict requirements set out in their release plan for the rest of their isolation period.

Overview of applying for an exemption

  1. You apply for the type of exemption you want to request. We encourage you to apply before you book your travel and leave for New Zealand to allow more time for your application to be assessed.
  2. We will confirm receipt of your application and prioritise based on urgency.
  3. Your application is assessed based on the level of public health risk to the community, the ability to manage that risk, and your ability and willingness to comply with the conditions of your release. Medical conditions are assessed against the level of support that can be provided at the facility.
  4. We’ll contact you to let you know the outcome of your application, or if we need more information.
  5. If your application is successful, you will need to agree to comply with the requirements of your release plan. It may be cancelled if you don’t meet the requirements of the plan or if you are no longer considered a low public health risk.

Types of exemptions

There are different reasons to apply for permission to leave a managed isolation facility, to isolate elsewhere, or to join someone in managed isolation.

Exceptional circumstances

You can apply for an exceptional circumstances release:

  • to be considered to visit a close family member who is terminally ill, or
  • for other exceptional circumstances that will be considered on a case by case basis.

How to apply for an exceptional circumstance release


You can apply to:

  • isolate away from a managed isolation facility such as a hospital, if your medical or other needs cannot be met in the facility, or
  • leave the facility to attend a medical appointment.

How to apply for an exemption for medical reasons

Transiting New Zealand

You must apply for a transit exemption if you’re moving through New Zealand to another country, unless you are in New Zealand for less than 24 hours.

How to apply for a transit exemption

To join a person in managed isolation

You can apply to:

  • join a child in managed isolation or quarantine, or
  • join someone in managed isolation so you can support their health and wellbeing.

How to apply to join a person in managed isolation

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