National Party leader Chris Luxon wants risk-based home isolation to start. He says the current managed isolation system (MIQ) for returnees does not make sense and the borders should open with risk management.

Luxon told Morning Report most rooms occupied in MIQ were of double-vaxxed New Zealanders who had already tested negative to Covid-19.

"Our answer was not just open up the border, that we'd actually manage the risk through low, medium and high-risk countries.

"We also have New Zealanders suffering at home in home isolation with Covid, and so if we took the people in the MIQ facilities that are actually double-vaxxed with negative tests out, we could actually properly look after, through our MIQ system, people who genuinely need support."

Just before the current Delta outbreak, the government had announced that a new border system based on low, medium and high-risk entry paths would start in early 2022.

It also recently said fully vaccinated New Zealanders will be able to travel from Australia without having to quarantine from 11.59pm on 16 January. Foreign nationals follow from April onwards.

Luxon said he does not see why double-vaxxed New Zealanders who test negative to the virus, and coming from low-risk countries, should not already be isolating at home.

"For some reason ... they can't come home on December 15 and again, what's the problem? What's the obstacle that's causing that delay?

"Double-vaxxed Kiwis trying to get home for Christmas with a negative test don't need to be clogging up our MIQ system actually. We want them home isolating.

"We don't actually need them in an MIQ room, taking up a room that we could use for a New Zealander at in the community suffering with Covid or managing people from high-risk places."

Luxon also backs the Covid-19 vaccine mandates on certain professions like the border workforce, healthcare, and education.

Businesses should be supported to make their own decision around that by giving them a health and safety risk profile, he said.