Michael Venus frustrated as attempt to rearrange isolation arrangement blocked

New Zealand tennis star Michael Venus says he is extremely frustrated by attempts to rearrange quarantine plans for his return home.

New Zealand tennis star Michael Venus. Source: 1 NEWS

Venus, who has qualified for the end-of-year ATP Finals with doubles partner John Peers, is now tossing up whether to compete there, or return home - and potentially jeopardise his Olympics dream.

He is currently booked to fly back home next week, but would have to re-book if he wanted to compete in London. 

With managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities at capacity until December 20, Venus would face a long wait in London once the ATP Finals end on November 22.

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He has found someone who is keen to swap MIQ vouchers with him, which would allow him to return to New Zealand on November 24 and spend Christmas with his pregnant wife and two-year-old daughter. 

But he says MIQ has told him swapping vouchers is not possible.

"It is really frustrating when you see these other sports like yachting, basketball, netball, cricket getting help for their sports but tennis can’t get anything," he says.

MIQ said the system is complex and "swaps may not be straightforward at all."

"Places in MIQ are allocated in a transparent and accountable process to allow identified returnees and others arriving in New Zealand to safely isolate before entering the community. Accordingly, they are not tradeable," a spokesperson said. 

"Allowing ‘swaps’ could create a commodity in a market, with spaces being traded to those who can afford it. We need to ensure that there is fair and open access to all New Zealanders returning home."