Coronavirus: 7000 more MIQ spots up for grab by year's end

Up to 7000 vouchers for managed isolation spots are to be released before the end of the year, MIQ deputy chief executive Megan Main says.

There were 3200 rooms released Monday morning under the new system which randomly allocates each person a position in the queue.

For the more than 22,000 who did not get a spot, they can have another shot in a couple of weeks' time.

She said overall the booking system went smoothly. 

"We had 5300 people from 117 countries who were able to get vouchers in those 3200 rooms that we released and I know it was good for those people but I know there were thousands of people who missed out in today's release."

Main said they were planning to release another few thousand vouchers early next week. 

She said mid-week they will be looking to see if any of today's vouchers had not been confirmed and whether they can be re-released.

There were 25,000 people in the new online lobby just before 9am today, Main said. After 9am there were 31,800, she said. Those new entries after 9am went to the back of the queue, she said.

"We want as many people as possible to get back to New Zealand but you're right, there isn't an unlimited number of MIQ rooms and it's not just the hotels, you'll be aware we are looking at standing up the feasibility of standing up two or three more facilities in the near term."

Main said there were a lot of factors to consider when setting up an MIQ facility including good ventilation, as well as health and security workforce, access to health facilities and major transport hubs.

She said a range of facilities have been suggested but ultimately it's a decision for the Government based on public health and scientific advice.

Main said they could not tell how many of those people simply went online today to try and work out how the system operated.

There are now only a few vouchers left for October so the next voucher releases will focus on November and December.

"Since we went live with the emergency allocations, we've had 3000 approved," she said. 

"We've got up to 700 places set aside every month and a bit."

"I'm one of the decision makers who approves these vouchers and there are days we might consider 75 or 100, and other days where there might only be a handful."