Nearly 90 Covid cases isolating at home

Source: 1News

Opposition parties have criticised the Government's lack of leniency when it comes to MIQ, after it was revealed that nearly 90 Covid-19 cases are self-isolating at home.

People walk past a MIQ facility.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said that quarantine facilities allocated to the Delta outbreak had been filling up as total cases hit 2158.

He said there was still "a bit of room" left in community quarantine but that "it's been pretty full for a while now."

Hipkins revealed 88 people with Covid-19 were isolating at home, as of Tuesday, from 55 households.

ACT leader David Seymour said the Government should "stop the Hunger Games" and rethink "unfair" rules for Kiwis wanting to come home.

"The Government is happy to let seven dozen people with Covid home isolate, but double-vaccinated Kiwis who've tested negative for Covid-19 have to do two weeks in MIQ."

He added that New Zealanders living overseas have been effectively "disowned" by Government and its MIQ system.

"The rules aren't fair and people are getting sick of it."

Earlier on Wednesday, the Chief Ombudsman launched a "broad investigation" into the country's managed isolation system, having fielded hundreds of complaints from Kiwis desperate to travel to and from New Zealand.

Roughly 200 complaints from people around the world have been received, with common themes suggesting the system is not fit for purpose and poorly managed, Peter Boshier said.

National's Covid-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop called it "ridiculous" that dozens of Aucklanders can self-isolate with Covid when Kiwis wanting to come home have to stay in MIQ.

He further called for an end to the current lottery system, instead of asking for Government to consider opting for fully vaccinated travellers from low-to-medium risk areas to skip managed isolation.

The Government is in the process of considering shorter MIQ stints and greater use of self-isolation for travellers, with an announcement expected next week.