The upcoming MIQ room release which was to take place on 20 January has been postponed due to the "unprecedented number of Omicron cases".

A statement by Head of MIQ Chris Bunny says:

Due to the unprecedented number of Omicron cases coming into New Zealand and MIQ, a decision has been made to postpone the next room release scheduled for 20 January.

There has been a 10-fold increase in positive COVID-19 cases at the border compared to December.  The seven day rolling average of border cases is 33.

The decision on when the next lobby will be held will be made in coming weeks as part of Cabinet’s considerations on the border and Reconnecting New Zealand.

We appreciate that this will be disappointing for many people wanting to come back to New Zealand.  The government’s strategy is to minimise the risk of Omicron in New Zealand as much as possible.

There will be room releases in the future for people wanting to secure rooms, however right now we cannot proceed as planned.

More to follow