France-based daughter with critically-ill dad denied emergency MIQ spot one month before border opens

In two weeks' time, Kiwis arriving from Australia will be able to skip MIQ altogether as long as they meet a few criteria.

They'll need to be double-vaccinated if they're 17 or older, return a negative test before flying, and have the ability to isolate themselves alone or with family and friends for seven days. Two weeks later, the same deal will kick in for those Kiwis coming from the rest of the world.

It couldn't come soon enough, because even with its last breath, managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) is still inflicting pain. 

"I just want to record this video so you can see what this actually does to a person," France-based Kiwi Rachel Bradley told Newshub, as she showed footage of the torture of trying to come home to care for her critically ill dad who's waiting for heart surgery.

She has tried MIQ lotteries and six emergency applications.

"It's so shit," she says. "I'm just trying to do the right thing by everyone and in the meantime the right thing is not being done by me."

Coming from France, Rachel has to wait another month before the border opens for her. She wants to know why she's only allowed home to see her critically ill father die - and not to help him live.

"They let DJs and sports stars in, and it's like if you're famous or you make enough fuss in the media you can get in and that's not right either."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the changes are just around the corner. 

"There's two weeks to go," she said on Tuesday. 

When asked why the Government won't just let skip MIQ and self-isolate sooner, she said: "Of course, all of those restrictions are being removed."

They're being removed alright. The future of travel is an awful lot looser. 

Before flying, double-vaccinated travellers need a negative PCR 48 hours before flying or a rapid antigen test or what's known as a LAMP test within 24 hours.

They must sign a declaration they have an appropriate place to isolate - not a hostel, for example - but it can be with family and friends who can come and go and live their normal lives.

"There will be more risk in the community and therefore the relative risk of those coming in internationally isn't what it used to be," COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. 

National's COVID-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop hopes it goes smoothly. 

"I'd just encourage the Government to have the systems in place as soon as possible, but we do need to connect to the world and end MIQ."

Travellers have to go directly home but can get picked up by a loved one and even catch a domestic flight - but have to wear a mask. 

They'll also be given two rapid antigen tests to take on day one and on day five or six. If either is positive, a PCR test is mandatory. They can also leave temporarily to visit a dying loved one or get healthcare. 

"We're at a very different phase during our COVID response and we're all going to have to adjust our thinking according to that," Hipkins said. 

Rachel just wants the Government to adjust its thinking and let her come home now.

"I'm back on the fight again, really."

The beginning of the end of MIQ can't come soon enough.