The cohorting system at MIQ

A cohort is a group of people arriving in New Zealand over the same 2-day period.

Cohorting ensures returnees will be in the same facility as others who have arrived at about the same time, and importantly, will keep those who have just arrived, and may be infectious, apart from those who are coming to the end of their stay.

A cohorting cycle is 11 days – this accounts for the 2-day arrival window, the 7 days of isolation for the returnees and 2 days to clean before the next cohort.

Empty rooms can be a result of cohorting. While these rooms may be empty, they are actually allocated to a cohort and are therefore unavailable for use during that cohorting cycle.

 Room unoccupied but allocated to cohort


 First full day of stay in Managed Isolation Facility


 End of 7-day stay in Managed Isolation Facility


 Room cleaning


Cohorting is not used in all facilities – for example, those in quarantine facilities or who arrive with medical needs.

Impact of cohorting

Cohorting has reduced availability by around 7-10%. That’s because even with the best planning, flight schedules and number of passengers vary each day which means a facility may not be fully occupied at the end of a 2-day cohort arrival window.

We can only re-release rooms if there is enough time for another person to be able to secure a voucher and flight to arrive within the cohort facility arrival window; this is often not possible.

Reasons for unoccupied rooms can include:

Flight schedules – if flights are cancelled or delayed at short notice, or passenger loads are low.


Travellers - if a traveller changes their plans and does not show up.


Facility maintenance - both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance may make rooms unavailable.