The Ministry of Health is not ruling out using Dunedin or Queenstown as sites for Covid-19 quarantine facilities.
However, Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said stringent safeguards would be required before he accepted that his region would not be placed at risk from Covid-19 again.
A large number of New Zealanders are expected to return home from overseas in the next few weeks, stretching quarantine facilities to breaking point.
The minister in charge, Housing Minister Megan Woods, said yesterday there was capacity for 4607 beds or spaces for managed isolation in facilities in Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington and Christchurch.
There are 4148 people already in isolation, but Woods believed further arrivals could be managed.
When asked whether Dunedin or Queenstown could be used to house new arrivals for their period of mandatory isolation, a Covid-19 national response spokesman did not discount that possibility.
"We are working to address capacity issues within our managed isolation or quarantine facilities due to the recent increase in arrivals," he said.
"We may look to a range of other regions across New Zealand to help accommodate future arrivals."
Boult said the Government would ultimately decide whether Queenstown was required as a quarantine centre.
"A week ago I would have thought it was an idea that would be attractive to us.
"However, given the own-goals that have been scored over the past week I would need a very large amount of convincing that residents in our region were not going to be exposed unnecessarily to infection with Covid-19."
Last week it was revealed two women who subsequently tested positive left quarantine in Auckland to drive to Wellington on a compassionate exemption — a dispensation which has since been suspended.
The women had left without being tested, and interacted with at least one other person during their trip south.
Boult said Queenstown Lakes, which had had 87 Covid-19 cases, did not want any more.
"We haven't had any for a long time and we want to keep it that way."
Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said the city would also want assurances any people who came south for quarantine did so at minimal risk to the community.
"The Dunedin City Council will consider any request should one eventuate," he said.
"We'd want to be a part of any discussions around quarantining returning New Zealanders here, to make sure it was done in a way that kept both them and our wider community safe."
Council property services group manager David Bainbridge-Zafar said discussions had been held with the Ministry of Health about its needs, but these had not included any request for a quarantine facility in Dunedin.
"Any request for facilities would likely be co-ordinated by Otago Civil Defence emergency management group."