The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) announced late Monday night that the room release lottery for managed isolation will be postponed for 24 hours.

In a tweet just after 9.30pm, MBIE stated the next room release will be on Wednesday, December 22 at midday (NZT). The lobby will open an hour beforehand.

The tweet said the postponement was due to the “evolving situation with Omicron”.

“We need to carefully manage capacity as more travellers spend longer in MIQ. This reduces available rooms in MIQ.”

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins is due to make several announcements tomorrow relating to the pandemic and new Omicron variant.

It comes as Omicron cases are exploding around the world, with some European countries considering fresh lockdowns and new restrictions to curb transmission.

Across the ditch, New South Wales recorded a record number of community cases on Sunday and there are warnings that hospitals there could become overwhelmed.

New Zealand has recorded a handful of Omicron cases in MIQ so far but none yet in the community.

Cabinet met today to consider its response to growing Omicron threat and Hipkins is set to announce Cabinet’s decisions at 2pm.

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