8 Jul 2021

Big demand sees MIQ spaces book-out within minutes of release

5:17 pm on 8 July 2021

Spaces released for managed isolation in November have booked out in minutes, leaving some returnees disappointed.

Airplane in the sky at sunset

Photo: 123RF

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment has been releasing vouchers in batches, with some yet to be made available.

The high demand means there's no rooms showing as available for the next five months.

The November dates were released last night and returnees have complained they had no chance to secure a spot.

About 2000 rooms are empty each day across the country.

MIQ's operational capacity is 4000, while an additional 900 rooms are set aside as contingency.

More than 200 rooms are "offline" due to hotel maintenance, and others are out of action as the ministry shifts to a cohorted intake of returnees.

Earlier this year the ministry said demand for MIQ spaces dwindled, before picking up again.

"We saw a significant decrease in demand for vouchers in April, May and June. Spaces were available through to the end of October for several weeks with low demand for bookings."

The ministry suggested people keep checking the system for available dates.

It said it waited on airlines to confirm their schedules before releasing vouchers.

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