Just like that, MIQ and self-isolation was all but over.
The prime minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that fully vaccinated travellers arriving from Thursday 3 March will no longer need to self-isolate.
Just three days after the introduction of self-isolation for returning travellers, Covid-19 quarantine requirements are being dropped almost as abruptly as they began two years ago.
Under the new rules, vaccinated travellers arriving in New Zealand will be allowed to move freely, providing they take a RAT on the day on arrival and a follow up five days later.
Unvaccinated returnees would still be required to spend a period in MIQ.
Here's what travellers need to know.
Who can enter without isolation?
From 11.59pm, Wednesday, March 2, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to self-isolate.
Currently this only applies to inbound travellers from Australia, but soon New Zealanders from anywhere in the world will be able to return without isolation.
Unvaccinated returnees will still need to book MIQ spaces. This could prove to be difficult, with many carriers no longer serving unvaccinated passengers without an exemption and inbound travel being a requirement of reserving MIQ tokens.
When can other travellers return to New Zealand quarantine free?
'Step 2' - removing MIQ requirements for the rest of the world - has been brought forward to midnight on Friday March 4.
This means that New Zealand residents and citizens from anywhere in the world will be allowed to enter the country, quarantine free.
Tourists would soon also be able to enjoy quarantine-free travel to Aotearoa, however the date has not been given. Potentially far sooner than the July deadline originally given by the PM at the beginning of the month.
What do I need to travel to NZ quarantine free?
All travellers will still be required to show a negative pre-departure test before boarding a plane to New Zealand.
This can be a PCR administered less than 48 hours before the scheduled departure of your first flight to New Zealand, or a supervised RAT or LAMP test 24 hours before departure.
RAT and LAMP results will need a medical certificate to prove that they have been supervised.
On arrival, returnees will have to continue to test.
There will be a RAT on arrival and a follow-up RAT on a day 5 or 6.
Should any of these return a positive result, travellers will be asked to take a PCR test and self-isolate.
From now on, positive cases at the border will be treated the same as positive cases in the community.
This is great news, but why now?
The end of isolation is great news for travellers and was described by the Covid response cabinet as 'a shot in the arm for our tourism sector', but it doesn't mean that the pandemic is over.
Professor Sir David Skegg said that the end of self-isolation will mean more travellers and therefore more cases entering the country. However the number of cases at the border seem insignificant compared to community cases of Omicron.
The 7-day average for border cases at the weekend was 9.4, compared with a 7-day average of around 6,700 for cases in the community.
It is the end of use for a tool that has protected New Zealand, said a statement from the government's Covid-19 Response, one that has allowed vaccination and other protection to be in place.
"Because of this mahi, New Zealand has one of the lowest number of deaths from COVID-19 in the world," they said.