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All four cases detected at the weekend were in managed isolation facilities, the three cases reported yesterday being the highest single-day tally for 10 days.
On Friday, 4475 people were in managed isolation facilities around the country, and with several thousand more New Zealanders expected to make their way home soon, the Government is considering opening facilities in Dunedin.
Keeping so many people housed and fed for at least 14 days is proving expensive, and yesterday National Covid-19 border response spokesman Gerry Brownlee said, if elected, his party would make returnees pay part of the cost of their accommodation.
"Two-week quarantining looks likely to be with us for a while," Mr Brownlee said.
"This is a practical solution to a growing problem."
National’s policy was similar to that of Australia’s Federal Government and several states, he said.
An adult would pay a fixed fee of $3000 with an extra $1000 for another adult sharing their room; children over 3 would pay $500, while younger children would incur no cost.
"There will be exemptions only for New Zealand citizens and permanent residents on compassionate grounds and in cases where they are facing financial hardship," he said.
Minister in charge of managed isolation and quarantine Megan Woods said National’s policy mirrored her own thoughts.
"As we have made clear on numerous occasions, we are working through policy options on a cost-recovery scheme," Dr Woods said.
"This requires detailed investigation to ensure that any cost recovery system is fair and equitable, and is balanced with the legal rights of New Zealand citizens and permanent residents to come back home."
In late June, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the Government was considering part-charging those in managed isolation.
It was a "complex area" and legal issues had to be canvassed, she said.
It has been 80 days since the last case of possible community transmission of Covid-19 in New Zealand.
Two of yesterday’s cases were detected in Waikato, and the other in Christchurch. The Waikato patients and the family of the second person who tested positive were transferred to an Auckland quarantine facility.
The Christchurch patient was already in quarantine after a family member tested positive.
There are 25 active cases in New Zealand.
No-one in New Zealand is receiving hospital-level care for Covid-19.
— Additional reporting The New Zealand Herald