Safely welcoming New Zealanders home
While our borders are closed, New Zealand citizens and permanent residents have a legal right to come home. Those returning to New Zealand have a responsibility to do their part to stop COVID-19 spreading.
By completing 14 days in managed isolation or quarantine, we can ensure people do not have COVID-19 before returning to our communities.
Over 100,000 people have completed their managed isolation stay safely, and have returned to their loved ones and friends.
Difference between quarantine and managed isolation
When you arrive in New Zealand you are screened for symptoms of COVID-19.
- do not have symptoms, you will isolate at a managed isolation facility
- have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, you will isolate in a quarantine facility or separate area.
Both types of facilities are located within hotels.
Secure your place in managed isolation
You are legally required to have a voucher before flying to New Zealand. Your voucher allocates you a place in a managed isolation facility.
Airlines will not be permitted to board you if you do not have a voucher, unless you are exempt from using the Managed Isolation Allocation System.
If you are flying quarantine-free to New Zealand, then you will not enter managed isolation and so you do not need a voucher.
Get your voucher
Get your voucher by registering on the Managed Isolation Allocation System.
Request an emergency allocation
Space in managed isolation is extremely limited. An emergency allocation process exists for limited situations that require urgent travel to New Zealand within the next 14 days.
You can request an emergency allocation if:
- you are legally entitled to enter New Zealand under our current border settings
- your travel is time-critical — within the next 14 days
- you have registered in the Managed Isolation Allocation System and you have not been able to book an allocation for the date you require urgent travel
- your circumstances fall within 1 of the 2 categories permitted, and
- you have attached evidence to support your application.
The managed isolation and quarantine website has details about the travel categories permitted for emergency allocation, and what supporting evidence you need.
Very few emergency allocation requests will be granted. We encourage you to book in early to the Managed Isolation Allocation System, as this is the best way to guarantee your place.
Cohorting in managed isolation facilities
From 24 April 2021, Managed Isolation and Quarantine is introducing a ‘cohorting’ system to its facilities. Cohorting means that returnees arriving in New Zealand in a 96-hour window will all go to the same facility. They will do this until the facility is full or the 96 hours are over.
After this, no more returnees will enter the facility until the last of the group has completed their stay and the facility has been cleaned.
Cohorting will keep recent arrivals in the same facility together, and will keep those who are just completing their stay away from new arrivals.
All facilities should be using the cohorting system from Sunday 16 May.
Charges for managed isolation
You do not have to pay for a voucher
You do not have to pay for a voucher. However, some people will be charged for their stay in managed isolation or quarantine.
You might have to pay for your stay
The Government recovers some of the costs for managed isolation. This is to share the costs in a way that fairly reflects the benefits to both the New Zealand public of having a robust system, and those who leave and enter the country.
Testing in managed isolation
You are tested for COVID-19 around day 0/1 of your stay — within 24 hours of arriving. You are exempt from a day 0/1 test if you arrive from Australia, Antarctica or most Pacific islands. You may be asked to remain in your room until the results of the test is known.
If you are symptomatic when you arrive, you will go straight to a quarantine facility.
If the result of your day 0/1 test is positive, you will be moved to a quarantine facility. If you test negative, you will stay in your managed isolation facility to complete the rest of your stay.
You will be tested for COVID-19 again on day 3 and day 12 of your stay.
Exemptions from quarantine
There are no exemptions from quarantine for people with COVID-19 symptoms.
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 have put in place a robust system for exemptions from managed isolation. Releases from managed isolation are only issued in very limited circumstances, and where the public health risk is low and can be managed.
Any exemption is from being in managed isolation, not from having to isolate.
The managed isolation and quarantine website, run by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), has information about exemptions, including:
- what an exemption is
- types of exemption available
- how to apply
Changes to your journey through Auckland Airport
From 16 April, your journey through Auckland Airport will be different to what it has been recently, and it may take longer. This is to keep international travellers who are going into managed isolation separate from those travelling quarantine-free.
If you’re flying into Auckland and entering managed isolation, you will proceed through the airport and be transported to your facility without your checked baggage. Your checked baggage will be collected and delivered to your facility after you arrive there.
- If you’re going into a facility in Auckland, your baggage will take about 4 to 6 hours to arrive.
- If you’re going to Hamilton or Rotorua, the wait could be 6 to 8 hours.
- If you’re going to Wellington or Christchurch, your baggage will travel with you on your flight.
Make sure you have everything you need for your arrival with you in your cabin luggage. This could include essential medicines or supplies for children.