An additional 530 places have been made available in managed isolation and quarantine facilities for Kiwis returning from New South Wales. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Travelers stranded in New South Wales due to the break in the travel bubble will have an additional 530 places reserved in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
The quarantine-free travel bubble between New Zealand and NSW was interrupted as the Australian state struggled with an outbreak of Covid-19 in the community. NSW today registered 98 new cases and the fifth death in the latest outbreak as it faces a month-long lockdown.
Initially, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced 1,000 places in MIQ facilities for returning travelers normally staying in New Zealand, for the period from July 14 to July 27.
A spokeswoman for managed isolation and quarantine said an additional 530 rooms will be allocated to managed isolation facilities in Auckland from July 28 to August 8.
Travelers do not have to reserve a place in MIQ via the online booking system.
They are automatically seated once booked on a managed return flight.
People who have already applied for urgent and exceptional travel before 7 p.m. Friday, July 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 all remaining seats available once the urgent and exceptional quota has been fully processed. Travelers must meet the criteria set forth on the Unite Against Covid website.”
Anyone in Australia who cannot return to New Zealand should remain in their place of shelter and follow all local advice, she said.
The spaces reserved for urgent or exceptional circumstances are now fully allocated for managed return flights from New South Wales, and no further applications will be accepted at this stage.
New Zealanders in Australia who require urgent consular assistance should contact the Mfat emergency consulate.
People who have already registered for urgent and exceptional travel before Friday, July 16 at 7:00 PM 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, 500 additional rooms were reserved every two weeks (on top of MIQ’s usual contingency of 400). This was to manage any changes to quarantine-free travel and provide additional capacity in the event that some travelers need to go to MIQ at very short notice.