The Ministry of Health advised the Government that self-isolating overseas arrivals pose a low risk compared to community cases meaning there’s no public health reason to continue with MIQ,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“On 4 November, the Ministry of Health provided advice to Chris Hipkins about the implementation of a ‘seven days managed isolation, three days self-isolation’ model. The advice said:

'There is a relatively low risk to public health by those arriving by air self-isolating compared to the public health risks posed by community cases or close contacts, particularly in the Auckland region.'

“This confirms what ACT has been saying for months. It makes absolutely no sense to put people through the torture of fighting for places in MIQ when there are Covid-19 cases isolating in the community.

“There will soon be thousands of people isolating at home with Omicron, but it will still be weeks or months before fully vaccinated, negative tested Kiwis, workers, students and tourists can come here. It’s totally illogical.

“My email inbox is filled daily with people sharing horrendous MIQ experiences. People stuck offshore with no means to support themselves, families separated, businesses frustrated, people enduring terrible conditions. The Government has not properly weighed these costs.

“There is now no public health reason not to ditch MIQ altogether for fully vaccinated, negative tested travellers.

“The Government should accept it is wrong and end MIQ in favour of home isolation for fully vaccinated, negative tested travellers immediately.”