The government just announced its plan to reconnect with the world by removing mandatory MIQ on arrival for many. Those who are fully vaccinated and are kiwis, residents or other travellers (yet to be defined in some cases) will be able to enter NZ and self-isolate at home for seven days avoiding the need to spend time in government-controlled MIQ facilities.
This will be a welcome relief to many by allowing families to reunite, kiwis to get home and new residents the opportunity to activate visas for the first time.
MIQ relaxation will occur in three stages:
Opening on 17/01/2022 to NZ citizens and residents and other eligible travellers (that we presume includes Australian citizens and residents, and holders of valid NZ temporary visas) entering NZ from Australia (provided they have been in Australia or NZ for the last 14 days).
Opening on 14/02/2022 to NZ citizens and residents and other eligible travellers (again we presume will mean holders of valid NZ temporary visas) entering NZ from anywhere in the world apart from Covid high-risk countries.
Opening 30/04/2022 to fully vaccinated foreign nationals (non-NZ citizens or residents). Likely to be in stages by the type of visa held.
Some key requirements to avoid MIQ are:
A negative pre-departure test
Show proof of being fully vaccinated
Declare travel history on arrival (presumably to detect if any time has been spent in a Covid high-risk country)
Self-isolate for seven days on arrival
Covid tests on arrival (day one) and a final negative test before leaving self-isolation.
There are still questions to be answered. For example, how will an international arrival who does not have a home in NZ self-isolate? Can they stay in hotels, lodges, with family or friends etc? How do they get to their accommodation from the airport? How will people self-isolating be monitored? The list of questions goes on.
For now, let’s celebrate some good news and we will keep you updated as more detail rolls out. Read more on this latest announcement here