Otago Daily Times

$1.5 million managed isolation fees owed


WELLINGTON: The Government has collected $6.7 million in fees for managed isolation, while it is owed at least another $1.5 million from returnees’ overdue payments.

Six months after the fees scheme was introduced for the border hotels at least $23 million worth of invoices have been sent out.

Returnees have three months to pay the fees, which are issued ‘‘per room’’.

By the end of January, an MIQ spokesman said 7273 invoices had been issued.

Nearly 2000 of them — more than a quarter — had been paid, while 494 that were sent more than 90 days ago were overdue.

The fees are $3100 for one person plus $950 for each additional adult and $475 for each additional child — less than half of the total cost of each returnee’s stay.

New Zealanders can apply for a fee waiver if they’ve been overseas for at least six months since at least August 11, 2020 and they are returning for at least three months.

Fee exemptions are also granted for people who are refugees, diplomats or consular staff, for those eligible on compassion­ate grounds, returning after a medical air transfer or rescue at sea, or people deported from Australia.

The Government has accepted 81% of all applicatio­ns, granting 3013 fee waivers.

An MIQ spokesman said applicatio­ns were not processed if sent without evidence, ‘‘to ensure fairness and consistenc­y’’. People could apply before, during or after their MIQ stay. — RNZ

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