Lockdown critic Naz Khanjani gets emergency MIQ spot after UK trip

Former Bachelor contestant Naz Khanjani, who previously criticised quarantine and downplayed...
Former Bachelor contestant Naz Khanjani, who previously criticised quarantine and downplayed Covid-19, has been granted an emergency MIQ spot after leaving New Zealand. Photo: Facebook
Former Bachelor New Zealand contestant and 'Christchurch landscaper' Naz Khanjani, who previously criticised quarantine and downplayed Covid-19, has been granted an emergency MIQ spot to return to New Zealand.

Khanjani had left New Zealand in September 2020 to travel to the UK to be with her British boyfriend.

The former TV personality then caught Covid-19 around Boxing Day, saying she had symptoms including fevers, coughing and a loss of taste.

The couple, who had been in a long-distance relationship since May 2019, live together in Milton Keynes, north of London.

Now, months on, Khanjani has revealed she has had an emergency MIQ spot approved by the Government to return home, which has garnered criticism from those on social media.

"Just to be clear, I understand there are certain requirements and categories that need to be met with sufficient evidence to get approved," Khanjani wrote.

"I had two people comment on my post saying 'just because it's lockdown in UK and you want to see your family, it doesn't make it an emergency to come home' and another said 'there are people with family members dying who can't come home and it's unfair you cut the line'...

"How do you know it's unfair when you don't even know the reason why I'm coming home? How am I responsible for the applications being approved or declined? I don't make the rules and have no control over them."

Khanjani then hit out at those who questioned her motives for returning home, saying she has no obligation to share her personal matters and people need to respect her privacy over the matter.

"Let me just make it very clear to you that for no reason am I obligated to tell anybody private things about my life and what my reason is for having to come back to New Zealand at the end of this month. This decision was made last month and it wasn't an easy one.

"You need to respect that sometimes people like to keep things private and if it wasn't a good enough reason, it would have never been approved, so yes, my reason is valid and it is an emergency. Something people don't need to know details about. And again, it has zero relevance to my relationship."

Khanjani had received criticism for announcing she was returning home to visit family, instead of detailing the reason she was granted an MIQ spot.

Naz Khanjani received criticism after being granted an emergency MIQ spot. Photo: Facebook
Naz Khanjani received criticism after being granted an emergency MIQ spot. Photo: Facebook
It led critics to suggest she had jumped the queue ahead of other people who were returning home for family bereavements or health emergencies.

Khanjani said there's more to her emergency MIQ stay than just "coming home to see my family".

"Yes I said it's lockdown here in UK, yes I said I'm coming home to see my family but that's all I'm choosing to say publicly.

"I understand people are frustrated because some just like to see me fail, some may want to know what my reason for coming back is or know of or are people who have tried to come back but got declined...

"All I can do is send out my love and prayers hoping that whatever it is you're wanting from all of this, it gets granted soon enough (except for me failing lol you'll never see that). Kia Kaha and be kind."

Back in January, Professor Michael Baker criticised Khanjani after she downplayed Covid-19 and hit out at quarantine regulations.

Khanjani said on Instagram lockdowns, travel restrictions and quarantine wasn't "necessary" and that the virus is "just like any other flu".

She also said she's had cases of flu that have been "100 times worse" than when she contracted Covid-19.

"I can easily say I've had other 'normal' flus which have been 100 times worse than this one," she posted.

"I understand there are people out there who have been [affected] greatly or have lost love ones due to Covid.

"I'm not saying it can't be dangerous nor do I mean any disrespect. What I'm saying is I feel like it's just like any other flu out there with the same risks."

At the end of the post she wrote: "I strongly don't believe that locking down the world, putting these travel restrictions and quarantine stuff in place is actually necessary. This is wrong."

At the time, Baker told the Herald some of Khanjani's opinions in the post could be considered dangerous.

"This is a fallacy of her generalising her own experience," says Baker, responding to her belief that lockdowns and quarantining weren't necessary due to economic and mental health reasons.

"She's better [off] to stick to describing what her experience of the illness was and not suddenly turning into an epidemiologist or policy analyst and saying, 'because I had a mild illness, therefore I'm going to challenge the epidemiology of the disease for everyone'."

"She should stick to the facts about her own experience, because that's a genuine thing."

When asked about Khanjani's stance that Covid-19 carried the same level of risk as the flu, Baker pointed out scientific research and population health data says otherwise.

"It's good for people to describe their experience, but it's not good if they're quite prominent or a social influencer, to say that's what everyone can expect.

"Most definitely at a population level [Covid-19] is not like the flu, it's about 15-20 times more dangerous than the season flu, and of course the risk varies by age."

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