A government announcement about changes to the managed isolation and quarantine system, due today, will now happen later in week – most likely tomorrow.

Managed Isolation and Quarantine online booking page with no availability.Managed Isolation and Quarantine online booking page with no availability. Photo: RNZ


It is understood the changes relate to shorter stays that will free up MIQ places over the next few months.

However, a proportion of them will likely be needed for community cases, and so not all will be freed up for people trying to return from overseas.

It has been more than a month since the government ditched a first-in-first-served allocation system for a randomised lottery scheme.

While it gives everyone an equal chance of securing an MIQ spot, many argue it still does not help the most desperate.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins earlier downplayed expectations, saying the number of additional MIQ slots would likely be “modest”.