Managed isolation and quarantine

Managed isolation is an important part of our border measures to keep COVID-19 out of New Zealand.

Safely welcoming New Zealanders home

Almost all travellers are legally required to have a voucher confirming their place in managed isolation before boarding their flight. 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 or quarantine 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 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.

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 or quarantine 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.

Register for a voucher for managed isolation (external link)

Request an emergency allocation

The emergency allocation process exists for limited situations that require urgent travel to New Zealand within the next 14 days.

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 — 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.

Emergency allocation requests (external link)

Cohorting in managed isolation facilities

Managed Isolation and Quarantine has introducing a ‘cohorting’ system to its facilities. Cohorting is also known as ‘group intake’.

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. Doing this reduces the risk of transmitting COVID-19 inside the facilities.

Special purpose facilities will not use cohorting, for example Jet Park, which is a quarantine facility.

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. 

Costs for managed isolation and who needs to pay (external link)

Testing in managed isolation

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 managed isolation facility to complete the rest of your stay.

You will be tested for COVID-19 again around day 3 and day 12 of your stay.

Limited exemptions from managed isolation

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

How to apply for an exemption from managed isolation (external link)

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