Covid-19 Briefing: MIQ stays will be halved in the new system

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The government is now revealing changes to the MIQ, with stays halved from 14 to seven days, followed by home isolation for three days.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Chief Health Officer Dr Ashley Bloomfield provided an update today on the government’s response to the Delta outbreak.

Watch it here:

Today, 89 new community cases of Covid-19 have been reported in New Zealand.

Under the new MIQ regime, which will start from November 14, newcomers must be fully vaccinated and will be tested on days 0, 3 and 6 and will undergo a rapid antigen test before leaving MIQ, before a test of the day. 9 at home.

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He said it would free up around 1,500 rooms per month in MIQ. Some of this will be taken care of by community cases, but others will go into the reservation system for overseas travelers.

The second leg will reopen the border to low-risk travelers from Samoa, Tonga and Tokelau without isolation.

This one-way, no-quarantine trip will begin from November 8.

The third step will allow more people to isolate themselves at home, accessible to a growing number of travelers in the first quarter of 2022.

He said the border changes will be tied to the traffic light system.

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“The sooner New Zealanders are fully vaccinated so that we can switch to the traffic light system, the faster we can open the border.”

He said New Zealanders will also understand that the government does not want to speed up the spread of Covid-19 in the country by lowering restrictions before reaching very high vaccination levels.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Health Director General Dr Ashley Bloomfield.
Photo: Rob dixon

Hipkins said the first priority for getting people into New Zealand was Kiwis and people who already have visas, followed by other groups like international students.

“Tourists are more of a challenge… what you’ll see in the first part of next year, however, will be quite different from how we’ve handled it over the past 18 months.”

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Hipkins said stopping Covid-19 at the border has been a priority and New Zealand’s ability to do so has led to levels of freedom over the past year and a half that have been the envy of many other countries.

“As a country, we owe a huge vote of thanks to our frontline frontline workers and MIQs,” he said.

Hipkins said in the meantime, the message to all New Zealanders was very simple: get vaccinated.

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