The managed isolation and quarantine system constantly evolved as we learned more about COVID-19. This timeline shows the history and origins of MIQ.
- 1 July 2023 – national quarantine and isolation (MIQ) transfers back to the health system.
- 2 May 2022 – Government removes its Maritime Border Order requiring people arriving by the maritime border to enter MIQ.
- 3 May 2022 – The decision is made that the last 4 facilities will close by August 2022 due to low occupancy.
- Government announces Step 2 of Reconnecting New Zealand, allowing vaccinated New Zealanders and other eligible travellers from the rest of the world to travel to New Zealand without self-isolating.
- 10 March 2022 – Government announces that with our borders opening, 28 of the current 32 facilities will return to being hotels by end of June.
- 24 March 2022 – With New Zealand now reopening to the world and MIQ winding down, the voucher booking system is closing.
- About 90% of MIQs New Zealand Defence Force have returned to camps and bases about the country.
- Phase 2 of Government’s Omicron plan reduces the MIQ stay for international arrivals into New Zealand to 7 days.
- Government announces 5-step plan for travellers to enter New Zealand without going through managed isolation and quarantine.
- 27 February 2022 – fully vaccinated eligible travellers travelling to New Zealand from Australia begin self-isolation.
- Commodore Melissa Ross joins MIQ as Head of Operations.
- 11 December 2021 – MIQ welcomes 200,000th returnee.
- Omicron variant emerges. Border arrivals to stay for at least 10 days in MIQ.
- Bay Plaza facility in Wellington closes and returns to operating as a hotel.
- Brigadier Rose King ends secondment as joint Head of MIQ.
- Deputy Secretary Chris Bunny continues as Head of MIQ.
- The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch becomes the newest MIQ facility.
- MIQ stay for international arrivals into NZ reduces to 7 days, followed by isolation at home.
- Deputy Chief Executive Megan Main leaves role as joint head of MIQ.
- Deputy Secretary Chris Bunny steps in as new Head of MIQ.
- A virtual lobby is added to the booking system to manage the high demand for MIQ spaces. The lobby opens weekly.
- MIQ extends quarantine facilities and takes in community cases with the new Delta variant.
- Delta outbreak, all of New Zealand moves to alert level 4.
- Quarantine free travel with Australia is suspended.
- 11 June 2021 – Brigadier Rose King takes over as new head of MIQ Operations, co-leading with MBIE Deputy Secretary Megan Main.
- MIQ welcomes 150,000th returnee.
- 20 May 2021 – Delivered over 2 million total nights in MIQ facilities.
- 9 April 2021 – New Zealanders mark 1 year since managed isolation and quarantine became mandatory.
- 130,000 people have stayed at a facility in the last year.
- Quarantine free travel with Australia opens.
- First workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
- 24 March 2021 – Quarantine-free travel from Niue to New Zealand starts.
- 20 February 2021 – COVID-19 Immunisation Programme starts and first MIQ workers receive vaccinations.
- Pre-departure tests and day 0/1 testing is introduced for all arrivals except for low-risk countries including Australia, Antarctica and some Pacific nations.
- Review of processes to keep returnees coming from the same flights together and separate from returnees who may be at a different stage of their isolation Reviewed ventilation in facilities
- 17 January 2021 – The first of 2000 Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme workers enter managed isolation.
- 19 January 2021 – MIQ welcomes 100,000th returnee.
- 21 January 2021 – Quarantine-free travel from the Cook Islands to New Zealand starts.
- “Thanks from Iso” exhibition opens
- New COVID-19 variants identified overseas
- First festive season celebrated
- 14 December – Brigadier Jim Bliss takes over as new head of MIQ, co-leading with MBIE Deputy Secretary Megan Main.
- 25 December 2020 – Nationwide billboards thank MIQ workers, Auckland Sky Tower lights up in yellow in support of MIQ workers.
- Hon Chris Hipkins is appointed as Minister for COVID-19 Response responsible for MIQ.
- 20 November 2020 – 75,000 returnees have been through MIQ.
- 5 October 2020 – The Managed Isolation Allocation System goes live. From 3 November 2020, travellers are legally required to have a MIQ voucher before flying if they are arriving in New Zealand.
- MIQ staff are tested weekly in quarantine facilities and fortnightly in managed isolation facilities.
- 11 September 2020 – MIQ welcomes the 50,000th returnee.
- First sports team in MIQ: The Wallabies are staying at MIQ in Christchurch.
- Standard Operating Procedures and Operations Framework across all facilities are in place.
- 11 August 2020 – Charges for some users of MIQ are introduced.
- 19 August 2020 – The New Zealand Defence Force becomes an ongoing part of MIQ and deploys 500 additional personnel taking the total to about 990 defence personnel at managed isolation facilities.
- 20 August 2020 – Additional security systems are rolled out across facilities, including improved CCTV and electronic access systems.
- MIQ website goes live.
- Responsibility for MIQ moves to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment with Deputy Secretary Megan Main appointed as co-lead with Air Commodore Webb.
- MIQ has 31 facilities in 5 regions. After security breaches, a permanent police presence at each facility and additional security staff is deployed.
- 14 July 2020 – The Bay Plaza in Wellington comes online as the 32nd and so far last managed isolation facility.
- First deportees since the beginning of the pandemic arrive from Australia.
- First Welcome Pack issued to returnees staying at MIQ.
- MIQ expands with new facilities opening in Rotorua, Christchurch, Hamilton and Auckland.
- 19 June 2020 – Air Commodore Darryn (Digby) Webb and Minister of Housing Hon Megan Woods are given responsibility for overseeing managed isolation and quarantine facilities
- 9 April 2020 – The Director-General of Health issues an Order requiring all people entering New Zealand by air to enter managed isolation and quarantine. The first of 18 facilities open at midnight.
- New Zealand closes its borders to anyone but New Zealand citizens and residents. International travellers are asked to self-isolate. From 26 March, travellers stay at the Novotel Ellerslie for self-isolation.
- Repatriated New Zealanders from Wuhan stay at a temporary isolation facility at Whangaparaoa.
- 28 February 2020 – New Zealand’s first case of COVID-19 is announced