New Zealand strengthens MIQ system

    New Zealand‘s Minister for COVID-19 Response, Education and Public Service Chris Hipkins stated (23-Apr-2021) New Zealand’s managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) system is “introducing an enhanced cohorting (or group intake) system to further reduce risk of in-facility transmission”. Returned travellers will arrive over a 96 hour window, “until they are full or the 96 hour period is over”. Mr Hipkins added: “The facilities will then ‘lock down’ for a 14 day cycle with no additional returnees allowed until after the last of the cohort have completed their stay and the facilities have been cleaned”. The process is to ensure passengers are in the same facility as others who arrived at approximately the same time, and will “keep those who have just arrived apart from those who are coming to the end of their stay”. The Pullman Hotel is the first hotel to receive cohorted arrivals, with the transition to the enhanced system to be complete by 16-May-2021. Mr Hipkins added the number of MIQ rooms will be temporarily reduced by bringing forward scheduled hotel maintenance to Apr-2021 to May-2021 from Jul-2021 to Sep-2021. However, thousands of rooms will be freed up to the end of May-2021 by MIQ cancelling all remaining vouchers held by travellers from Australia.

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