Covid 19 coronavirus: More MIQ spots for returning New South Wales travellers

Travellers stranded in New South Wales due to the travel bubble pause are being set aside a further 530 spaces in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.

The quarantine-free travel bubble between New Zealand and NSW was paused as the Australian state grappled with a Covid-19 community outbreak. NSW recorded 98 new cases today and its fifth death in the latest outbreak as it stares down a month-long lockdown.

Initially Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced 1000 spaces in MIQ facilities for returning travellers who normally reside in New Zealand, for the period July 14 to July 27.

A Managed Isolation and Quarantine spokeswoman said now a further 530 rooms would be allocated across managed isolation facilities in Auckland from July 28 to August 8.

Travellers do not need to book a place in MIQ through the online booking system.

They will be assigned a place automatically once booked on a managed return flight.

People who have already applied for urgent and exceptional travel before 7pm last FridayJuly 16 and are eligible will be contacted directly about travel plans, she said.

“These already processed eligible applications will be given priority for flights from July 28 to August 8.

“Airlines will make any remaining seats available once the urgent and exceptional quota has been fully processed. Travellers must meet criteria outlined on the Unite Against Covid website.”

Anyone in Australia who is unable to return home to New Zealand should continue to shelter in place and follow all local advice, she said.

The spaces set aside for urgent or exceptional circumstances have now been fully allocated for managed return flights from New South Wales, and no further applications are being accepted at this stage.

New Zealanders in Australia in need of urgent consular assistance should contact the Mfat emergency consular line.

People who have already applied for urgent and exceptional travel before 7pm last FridayJuly 16 and are eligible will be contacted directly about travel plans. These already processed eligible applications will be given priority for flights from July 28 to August 8.

When quarantine-free travel was announced, an additional 500 rooms per fortnight (on top of MIQ’s usual contingency of 400) were set aside. This was to manage any potential changes to quarantine-free travel and provide additional capacity in the event that some travellers need to go into MIQ at very short notice.

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