Government seeks to charge $3100 isolation fee for holidayers, temporary stayers

The Government is seeking to implement co-payment for managed isolation and quarantine costs, putting a $3100 price tag on some people entering the country. 

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Megan Woods says people who enter NZ temporarily or leave after the regulations changed will get a bill. Source: 1 NEWS

Housing Minister Megan Woods said this afternoon the Government would attempt to recover "some costs, for some people". 

"I am proposing to only charge New Zealanders who enter temporarily, or who leave New Zealand after the regulations come into force," Ms Woods said.

She said this included people who decided to go on holiday overseas. 

"If you're choosing to do that in a midst of a global pandemic, it is fair that you factor in the cost for that.

"Temporary visa holders would have to pay unless they were ordinarily resident in New Zealand before the border closure, and left before the border closure.

"I intend to seek Cabinet agreement to a charging structure of $3100 per person in a room, $950 for each additional adult and $475 for each additional child sharing the room. There will also be mechanisms to allow charges to be waived in full or in part."

Ms Woods said it balanced "the rights of New Zealanders to return home, while ensuring those who choose to holiday here, or holiday overseas before returning home, are contributing to the considerable cost of managed isolation". 

New Zealand residents will be charged if they leave the country after border regulations came into force and attempt to come back in, or if they are staying in New Zealand for less than 90 days. 

Managed isolation and quarantine facilities at the border are set to cost taxpayers almost half a billion dollars this year.

A spokesperson for Ms Woods, the minister responsible for the facilities, has confirmed to 1 NEWS that in recent weeks an extra $100 million has been added to meet the costs for the rest of the year.

It takes the total budget to $479 million.

Jacinda Ardern said last month the Government was considering making people in managed isolation pay for part of the cost, and reiterating her view New Zealanders going on overseas holidays should pay for their stay on return.

National has confirmed it would charge travellers entering the country $3000 to help cover the costs of managed isolation and quarantining, should they be elected to Government.