MIQ facilities

PHOTO: Chris Hipkins on Newshub Nation. Credits: Getty Images

The Government is considering buying “one or two” of the hotels currently being used as managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities for the long-term.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says it’s likely we’ll need MIQ facilities “over the medium to longer-term”, with experts saying COVID-19 is probably here to stay.

“It might not be at the scale that we have now, but I think we are likely to still need to have that ability to do that,” he told Newshub Nation on Saturday.

New Zealand currently has about 30 MIQ facilities, mostly hotels that would otherwise be empty thanks to the border restrictions.

Epidemiologists have suggested building dedicated MIQ facilities, as has the National Party. COVID-19 response spokesperson Chris Bishop says hotels are typically located in large population centres, so any leaks from the facilities raise the risk of needing to go into lockdown.