Managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ)

Managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) is an important part of our border measures to keep COVID-19 out of New Zealand.

Latest update — 24 November 2021

From January 2022, fully vaccinated New Zealanders can begin travelling to New Zealand without entering MIQ. Here is our 3-step plan:

  1. Opening to fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and other travellers eligible under our current settings from Australia — from 11:59 pm on 16 January 2022 (provided they have been in Australia or New Zealand for the past 14 days).
  2. Opening to fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and other travellers eligible under our current settings from all but very high risk countries — from 11:59pm on Sunday 13 February 2022.
  3. Opening to fully vaccinated foreign nationals — from 30 April 2022 onwards.

If you are not entering MIQ, you will have to meet some requirements, for example self-isolation.

Requirements for those not entering MIQ (external link)

Check who can travel to New Zealand | (external link)

We will also remove the very high risk category from the following countries in December 2021: Brazil, Fiji, India, Indonesia and Pakistan. This means New Zealand citizens and other travellers eligible under our current settings will be able to travel directly to New Zealand.

Papua New Guinea will remain a very high risk country.

Safely welcoming New Zealanders home

Almost all travellers are legally required to have a voucher confirming their place in MIQ before boarding their flight. Those returning to New Zealand have a responsibility to do their part to stop COVID-19 spreading.

If you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, you still need to book your voucher and complete your stay in our MIQ facilities.

By staying in MIQ, we can ensure people do not have COVID-19 before returning to our communities.

Over 180,000 people have completed their MIQ stay safely, and have returned to their loved ones and friends.

Secure your place in MIQ

You are legally required to have a voucher before flying to New Zealand. Your voucher allocates you a place in an MIQ 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 MIQ and so you do not need a voucher.

Getting a voucher

Get your voucher by entering the virtual lobby up to 1 hour before room release.

Everyone in the lobby has an equal chance of securing a room. Once the room release starts, everyone in the lobby will be moved into a queue. Your place in the queue is random. This means you do not need to keep refreshing your web browser, and you do not need to be the fastest to secure a room.

MIQ will announce room releases at least 24 to 48 hours before they become available.

How to get your voucher| (external link)

About the virtual lobby | (external link)

Get your voucher (external link)

Request an emergency allocation

You can apply for an emergency allocation if you cannot book your preferred date in the Managed Isolation Allocation System, and you meet the eligibility criteria.

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 — in 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 MIQ 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.

Emergency allocation requests | (external link)

Charges for staying in MIQ

The Government recovers some of the costs for MIQ. 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.

Costs for MIQ, and who needs to pay | (external link)

Getting tested in MIQ

Most people will be tested for COVID-19 around day 0/1 of their stay — within 24 hours of arriving. You may be asked to remain in your room until the result of the test is known.

If you are symptomatic when you arrive, you will go straight into 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 facility to complete the rest of your stay.

You will be tested for COVID-19 again around day 3 and day 5/6 of your stay.

You can leave MIQ after 7 full days, if your test results are negative. You will isolate at home for around 3 days. You will have to get a PCR test on day 9, and stay at home until you have a negative result.

Difference between quarantine and managed isolation

When you arrive in New Zealand you are checked for symptoms of COVID-19.

If you:

  • 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.

Limited exemptions from staying in MIQ

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.

Exemptions from managed isolation are approved in very few circumstances. Applications for exemptions are considered on a case-by-case basis and the threshold for approval is very high. An exemption will only be approved where we can be confident that the health risk of transmission is very low.

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

The managed isolation and quarantine website has information about exemptions, including:

  • what an exemption is
  • types of exemption available
  • how to apply

Apply for an exemption from staying in MIQ | (external link)

Dedicated MIQ places for critical health and disability workers

From 22 November 2021, 300 places a month in MIQ will be allocated for critical health and disability workers entering New Zealand for employment in a critical health and disability role.

Visit the Ministry of Health website for more on eligibility criteria and how to apply.

Dedicated MIQ places for critical health and disability workers | (external link)

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