More than $150,000 has been repaid by recent returnees after the Government made managed isolation charges mandatory on August 11.
Forty-eight individuals or families have paid, from a total of 826 invoices issued by October 4. An additional 609 waivers had been approved by the same date, data released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment shows.
Returnees have a 90-day deadline upon receiving their invoice to pay. None are overdue until at least next month.
The charge for a single person in a room is $3100. Additional adults or children sharing the room are charged $950 and $475 respectively, including GST.
However, not everyone invoiced is forced to pay, a spokesperson for managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) told the Herald.
People might be exempt from payment or they can apply for a waiver. Applications to waive charges are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Undue financial hardship and other special circumstances are considered, including:
• A New Zealander entering managed isolation because they left New Zealand to accompany a person back to New Zealand who is disabled or cannot travel alone;
• Someone needing to travel to or from New Zealand to receive medical treatment;
• Other compassionate grounds, including when a person has travelled to visit a seriously ill or dying close relative or attend a funeral or tangihanga (whether in New Zealand or overseas).
The costs cover less than half the average total cost for MIQ stays, Housing Minister Megan Woods said in August.
"This charging system makes an important contribution to our public health response to Covid-19."
A total of $154,628.58 had been paid since the charging system was introduced, as of October 4, the MBIE data showed.
It comes as provisional data from Statistics New Zealand shows 24,236 people arrived in New Zealand between August 11 and October 13.
The majority of people arrived on New Zealand passports: 15,381 compared to 8855 of non-New Zealand passports.
Some 57,663 people had been through MIQ between March 26 and October 4. The number had swelled to 60,354 yesterday.
The MIQ spokesperson wanted to thank those who had paid early and said no invoices were currently outstanding.
Key dates in New Zealand's Covid-19 timeline:
• On March 21, the alert level system is announced as Covid-19 cases start to rise and New Zealand is put into alert level 2.
• On March 23, New Zealand moves to alert level 3 after the number of cases surpasses 100 and begin preparing for at least a month-long lockdown. Two earlier confirmed cases are found to be not linked to overseas travel and are treated as community transmission.
• On March 25, New Zealand moves to alert level 4 and the entire nation goes into self-isolation at 11.59pm.
• On April 27, New Zealand moves back to alert level 3.
• On May 23, the alert level decreases again, this time to level 2.
• On June 8, New Zealand moves to alert level 1 at 11.59pm; the lockdown is over.
• On August 12, four members of a South Auckland family test positive after more than 100 days without community transmission of Covid-19. The Auckland region re-enters alert level 3 and the rest of New Zealand moves to level 2.
• On August 30, Auckland moves down to alert level 2.5.
• On September 21, all of New Zealand except Auckland moves back down to alert level 1 at 11.59pm.
• On September 23, Auckland moves to alert level 2 at 11.59pm.
• On October 8, Auckland joins the rest of the country at alert level 1.