Statement on exemption reviews

News article

08 May 2020

The Ministry of Health has completed the review of 32 applications made for an exemption from managed isolation on compassionate grounds that had previously been declined.

We undertook this review following the High Court case last week that overturned one such decision to ensure that the appropriate process had been followed for other similar applications for exemption.  

In parallel, the Ministry of Health updated the exemptions application process and criteria to ensure these are explicit and take into account the findings of the High Court judgement.

The applications were all reviewed by a separate team based in the National Crisis Management Centre. When applying the same process used by the Ministry of Health, this team reached the same conclusions as the original decisions.

The review, using the updated criteria, has yielded the following outcomes so far:

The original decision to decline their application was changed for five people. Those people are able to leave managed isolation and have an agreed self-isolation plan.

Two people had already finished managed isolation at the point the Ministry began reviewing applications, while one person has withdrawn their application.

For 14 people, the original decision to decline their application has been upheld. Those people will be required to complete their 14-day managed isolation.

We acknowledge that this will be a difficult time for people who are required to stay in managed isolation and we continue to provide support to them.

We are still awaiting further information from 10 people in support of their application, five of whom are still overseas and yet to travel to New Zealand.

We continue to receive a large number of new applications for an exemption from managed isolation from people arriving in New Zealand. These are all being processed according to the new criteria.

Protecting the border from COVID-19 remains a top priority as part of New Zealand’s overall elimination strategy and we will continue to look very carefully at any request for an exemption from managed isolation.