National | Chris Hipkins

MIQ closure: Only four hotels left by end of June

The government's managed isolation and quarantine system is beginning to scale down its operations as New Zealand's borders reopen and, by the end of June, just four managed isolation facilities will remain, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.

“With New Zealand now reopening to the world without the requirement to isolate for most, there is a significantly reduced demand for MIQ. This of course means that we no longer need the number of facilities we currently have,” Hipkins says.

“By the end of June, 28 of the current 32 facilities will leave the MIQ network and return to being hotels."

Rydges Auckland will be the first facility to leave the network and will begin operating as a hotel again from mid-May.

Hipkins says many MIQ workers have already begun going back to their roles in the health, defence and police workforces.

“Already over 300 healthcare workers and nurses and over 230 police have returned to frontline duties, and over 600 defence personnel involved in the MIQ response will now return to their units."

The Covid-19 Response Minister says MIQ workers made "considerable personal sacrifices" to make sure the wider community is safe.

“They have helped almost 230,000 people return to New Zealand and helped care for more than 4,400 people who got Covid-19 in the community and isolated in MIQ facilities," he says.