Government has 11,000 rooms in managed isolation yet to be released

After pausing bookings for managed isolation, officials were forced to apologise for a tone-deaf tweet saying it would give people a break from refreshing the site.

But there might be some good news for those hitting refresh - Newshub can reveal there are still 11,000 rooms in managed isolation yet to be released.

The Beirut port explosion last August fuelled Lebanon's collapse. There's no government, its currency is in freefall, and there are queues for petrol.

Kiwi Rachel Bicknell lives there with her husband.

"You have worry about if there's going to be a war," she says.

She's starving - surviving on chicken necks and a few glasses of water a day.

"I try to eat as little as I can so I don't take away from anyone else," she says.

Bicknell has booked a flight home, but needs an emergency spot in managed isolation. She's had no luck yet.

"You need more rooms," she says.

Mum Moata McNamara is sick with worry.

"I'm really, really frightened that she'll die there," she says.

While Bicknell waits for just one room, Newshub can reveal how many are yet to be released for booking.

Next month there are still 808 MIQ vouchers, more than 2300 in October and November and more than 6000 in December. That's 11,664 slots still available.

But on Monday night MIQ bookings were suspended because of Delta - though, the 400 emergency rooms a fortnight aren't affected.

"The pause is simply to allow us to recalibrate at this point," said deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson.

The Government has also been forced to recalibrate its messaging for the upset caused by a tone-deaf tweet from MBIE saying "the pause was helpful because it meant people could take a break from refreshing the site".

"MBIE has apologised for that message that they put up. I think we all understand that people who are looking for places in MIQ offshore, it can be a very stressful experience," Robertson said.

Stress is not even beginning to cover what Bicknell's going through.

And MIQ has now asked her to prove there's a serious risk to her health or safety.

"I need to come home and I don't know if I can - isn't that rejection?" she says.

Bicknell needs just one of those 800 free rooms next month, but when asked about a waitlist, the ministry said it would be complex and not a silver bullet for the supply and demand problem.

It did say it's working on a fairer way of allocating rooms to alleviate the stress for offshore Kiwis