Quarantine Fees – What do I need to know?
On 29 July 2020, Minister Megan Woods announced that a quarantine fee of a minimum of $3100 for their 14 day stay in quarantine.
This law is expected to come in force next week.
The full fee schedule is expected to be $3100 per person in a room, $950 for each additional adult and $475 for each child.
The fee applies to both New Zealanders travelling externally and to temporary visa holders coming into New Zealand (with an exemption for family members of citizens, diplomats and people attending the Christchurch Mosque trial). Although waivers on compassionate grounds may be considered.
The $3100 plus cost of quarantine will need to be factored for both New Zealanders and permanent residents travelling outwards and temporary visa holders.
From a revenue perspective this serves to cover some of the costs of quarantine that has impacted the public coffers. However it is also the case that travellers from now will be essentially paying the price of a free quarantine scheme which thousands have already taken advantage of, effectively subsidising those who have had a free run in the past.
From a fighting coronavirus perspective free quarantine has more than paid for itself by stopping the spread from the virus. News today showing that two cases were stopped at the border reinforces the fact that this scheme has stopped two today turning into hundreds over the next few weeks. Charging fees on arrival potentially makes enforcement of the scheme harder as charging fees provides a peverse incentive for new arrivals to abscond quarantine and avoid the fee.
From a personal perspective a trip to Sydney to visit family in the event of an emergency such as a death in the family will not only require $6000 plus in quarantine fees (as New South Wales recently introduced a $3000 fee) in addition to air fares and losing 28 days in isolation.
If there are any issues regarding the quarantine fee or advice on obtaining a compassionate waiver, please contact Idesi Legal Limited.