Update on managed isolation and quarantine facilities

There is a robust system in place to safely welcome New Zealanders home, while keeping our communities protected.

New Zealand is at Alert Level 1. The disease is contained in New Zealand, but uncontrolled overseas. It is safe for all business to operate as normal. It is safe for events and activities to go ahead.

Controls exist at the borders to address the risk of importing COVID-19, and keep New Zealand safe. All people arriving in New Zealand are required to stay in a managed isolation or quarantine facility for at least 14 days and test negative for COVID-19.

Other than the border measures there are no other restrictions in place for New Zealanders.

Returning to New Zealand

There is a robust system in place to safely welcome New Zealanders home, while keeping our communities protected.

You have a legal right to come home if you are:

  • a New Zealand citizen
  • a New Zealand resident with valid travel conditions.

People from any other countries are unable to enter New Zealand at this time, unless they have specific grounds for exemption, such as being essential workers or for medical reasons. These people will need to apply to Immigration New Zealand for an exception to the border closure.

Immigration NZ has the most up to date information on the border exception criteria and process (external link)

Those returning to New Zealand must do their part to stop COVID-19 spreading in New Zealand.

All arrivals must complete 14 days of managed isolation or quarantine and test negative for COVID-19 before they can enter the community.

People without symptoms will isolate at a managed isolation facility, and those with symptoms or who test positive will isolate in a quarantine facility or separate area.

Managed Isolation and Quarantine (external link)

Managed isolation and quarantine facilities

Carrying out managed isolation and quarantine throughout regions across New Zealand is a key part of our border management.

All facilities used for isolation or quarantine are closely monitored to make sure all the measures are in place to keep New Zealand safe.

New Zealand currently has managed isolation facilities in:

  • Auckland
  • Christchurch
  • Rotorua
  • Wellington
  • Hamilton

None of the hotels being used as managed isolation facilities are currently open to domestic travellers or guests — they are exclusive to people who have recently arrived in New Zealand.

Facility operation

These facilities are operating safely and are carefully managed with security. The hotels are stand-alone facilities — there are no shared public spaces with other members of the community.

In total there are more than 500 government and contracted staff directly supporting managed isolation and quarantine. Each quarantine and managed isolation facility has an All of Government support team.

Each team works alongside facility management to support the health, wellbeing, security, supplementary logistics and administration of the people staying in the facility.

The teams vary in size depending on facility capacity, and include people from the Ministry of Health, New Zealand Defence Force, Police, Aviation Security, and the Ministry of Social Development.

Selection criteria

Managed isolation and quarantine facilities meet a strict set of criteria to ensure people staying and working in them are kept safe, and that there’s a safe transition of people back into the community after their isolation period.

Hotels are chosen based on demand and suitability. Selection includes an assessment by the national Isolation, Quarantine and Repatriation team, and site visits from our on-the-ground teams in the respective locations. Hotels must meet a range of criteria including security, entry/exit points, suitable room and bathroom facilities, provision of food and drink delivered to rooms, safe laundry protocols, and the ability to ensure the wellbeing of people.

Staying safe in the community

People arriving in New Zealand need to complete their at least 14-days stay in a managed isolation or quarantine facility to ensure they can return safely to their family and friends. People will be tested for COVID-19 around days three and 12 of their stay. They must also have a negative test before they are released.

Managed isolation facilities are closely monitored to make sure all measures needed to keep the local community safe are in place. None of the facilities have shared spaces with the public or wider community. There is a robust process in place if a potential case is identified in an isolation facility, including isolation of any close or casual contacts.

You may see staff on the ground in the community who work at managed isolation facilities. These people are following all public health guidance.

People who are in managed isolation cannot leave the hotel until they complete 14 days and return a negative COVID-19 test.

For everyone else, it is safe to be out and about in the community as normal. It is safe for all business to operate as normal. It is safe for events and activities to go ahead.

Other than the border measures, including managed isolation and quarantine, there are no other restrictions in place for New Zealanders.

Advice on staying healthy

Looking after mental wellbeing (external link)