July 29, 2020

User-pays isolation decision looms – what to expect?

Published on TVNZ

By Anna Murray

7:12am on 29 July 2020


The Government is set to reveal its plans for charging returning Kiwis for their managed isolation today.

A managed isolation hotel. Source: 1 NEWS

With just two sitting weeks left in the parliamentary term, there’s little time for the law changes needed to enforce any co-payment scheme.

While National has said they plan to charge $3000 per adult should they be elected in September, the Government is expected to announce a softer version of that policy.

Public law expert Mai Chen told RNZ’s Checkpoint charging returning Kiwis for their quarantine is a complicated proposition with issues like exemption criteria, cost recovery and enforcement of the policy to consider.

The bill for running the country’s managed isolation facilities is currently budgeted at nearly half a billion dollars with the Government confirming yesterday another $100 million has been added to meet costs.

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand is extending its booking freeze for international flights for another two weeks.

The airline says new bookings won’t be available until after August 9 as they work with the Government to ensure managed isolation facilities aren’t overwhelmed with arrivals.