Large numbers of people with Covid-19 are now allowed to self-isolate at home, rather than in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
Chief Health Officer Dr Ashley Bloomfield on Tuesday announced the start of the “interim” program.
A total of 84 cases in 55 households were isolated at home, he said.
It was a “stopgap approach” as the ministry finalized plans for a home isolation program the government reported last week.
* Covid-19: home isolation could “create a problem of equity” for apartment dwellers
* How those who live in apartments reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19
* Covid-19: How can we make sure people are self-isolating?
The move was first announced by Health Minister Andrew Little last week.
Bloomfield said the home isolation criteria were based on a public health and clinical risk assessment.
He took into account factors such as whether a person’s residence allowed them to isolate themselves safely from others, whether they had “good” Internet and telephone access, and whether they had access to the Internet and the telephone. their own means of transport to access a screening center.
“Planning for this approach has been underway for some time and is a key part of managing Covid-19 going forward,” he said.
Previously, the vast majority of Covid-19 cases were quarantined at facilities such as Jet Park or the Holiday Inn, both near Auckland Airport.
Only a handful of people were allowed to self-isolate in their homes if they met strict exemption criteria.
According to the Managed Isolation and Quarantine website, 4,500 chambers are available in an 18 to 20 day cycle.
The MIQ is expected to be full, or nearly full, until November 9, which also includes returnees, leaving the ministry less space to place the growing number of positive Covid cases.
The government also approved a home isolation program for business travelers to free up MIQ space for returnees.