COVID-19 | Mate korona – what you need to know

The situation with the COVID-19 outbreak can change quickly. On this page, we provide key information and links for where to go for COVID-19 advice.

The guidance relating to scanning of QR codes for contact tracing, the requirements under the orange traffic light setting and use of vaccine passes and vaccine mandates has changed. 

Refer to Unite against COVID-19 information or the Ministry of Health COVID-19 page for current advice. 

We are currently in phase 3 of the Omicron plan. The sharp increase in cases means:

If you are eligible to have your COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, get it as soon as possible. Getting your booster will give you and your whānau greater protection from COVID-19, including Omicron. The second booster shot is available for some people, read more about who is eligible and when.

Rapid antigen testing (RAT) is the main form of testing 

As COVID-19 case numbers in the community increase in Aotearoa New Zealand, RATs (rapid antigen testing) are the main form of testing. You can now access a RAT from hundreds of locations around the country, making getting a test much easier. Places where RATs are available can be found on the HealthPoint website, free RATS can be ordered online. Read more about RATs. 

Information on how to do a rapid antigen test is available, but each brand is slightly different so read the information in the packet as well. 

PCR tests will be reserved for people who need them most, and will no longer be required to verify a positive RAT result.

Reporting your results

After doing your rapid antigen test, you should record your result in My Covid Record, as well as advising your employer. If you cannot access My Covid Record, call 0800 222 478. Parents and caregivers can now choose to use My Covid Record to report RAT results for children under 12 and other family members. Read more about how to report RAT results.

Most people with mild to moderate symptoms people will self-manage their illness at home

As COVID-19 is widespread in our community, to avoid pressure on our health system, most people with mild to moderate symptoms people will self-manage their illness at home, or in suitable alternative accommodation, with support from local healthcare providers. 

To help you self-manage COVID-19, see the COVID-19 Health Hub. Here you will find advice on:

I have COVID-19 – including an isolation calculator you can use to see how long you have to isolate.
I am a close contact.
I am a household contact.
Monitor your symptoms. 

Isolation time periods have been shortened:

  • People with COVID-19 and their Household Contacts must isolate for 7 days, not 10 days.
  • Household Contacts will need to test on Day 3 and Day 7 and if they develop any symptoms.
  • Once you have recovered from COVID-19, you will not need to isolate again for 3 months, if someone else in your household tests positive during that time. This is an increase from 1 month.
  • If you develop cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms and it has been 28 days or less since your previous infection (either from when you tested positive or you first had symptoms), they may be related to your last infection. Stay home until you are well and for 24 hours after you no longer have symptoms. If you become increasingly unwell, seek help from your GP.
  • If you develop new cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms and it has been 29 days or more since your previous infection, and you are at low risk of severe illness, we recommend you take a COVID-19 test. If it is positive you must self-isolate for 7 days.

Note that the definition of a household contact has changed. You are considered to be a household contact if you live with somebody who has COVID-19 or if you have spent more than 8 hours in the same house as them while they were infectious. This includes situations where you have spent a night in the same room/tent/campervan/motel room with an infectious person. Read more about household and close contacts.

If your symptoms get worse or you need urgent medical care, call your local healthcare provider or the COVID Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
If you or the person you are caring for develops difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, fainting or becomes unconscious, call 111 immediately.

Only confirmed cases and their household contacts have to isolate

Only confirmed cases and their household contacts have to isolate. Other types of contact should monitor for symptoms and get a test if they develop. If you are in any doubt about what sort of a contact you are, there is guidance here.

If you test positive – isolate for 7 days

  • If you test positive, you will need to isolate at home, or in other suitable accommodation, for 7 days.
  • Everyone you live with will also need to stay at home for those 7 days.
  • Avoid contact with other household members to the greatest extent possible during your isolation period. Wear a mask and physically distance in shared spaces during your isolation. This video provides more information about isolating at home.

If someone in your household tests positive – isolate for 7 days. Test on day 3 and day 7. 

  • If you live with someone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19, you and the rest of the members of your household need to self-isolate from the day that your household member receives their positive test result (or is notified as probable) and until that household member completes their 7 days of self-isolation.
  • Avoid or minimise contact with the person with COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible during your isolation at home.
  • You can end your self-isolation on the same day as the (first) person with COVID-19 in the household, provided you have no new or worsening symptoms AND your day 7 test was negative.
  • If you are a critical worker you can continue to work through your isolation period as long as you have a negative daily RAT. Find out more at 
  • If symptoms develop at any stage, get tested and start tracking your symptoms in case you become more unwell and need urgent medical care. 

If you are a close contact – there is no need to isolate. Monitor yourself for symptoms and if they develop, get a test.

Where to go for COVID-19 advice

Find out more about stopping the spread of COVID-19 in your home.
How to isolate at home.
How to use a symptom diary. 
How to use a pulse oximeter to check your oxygen levels and heart rate.
How to manage your COVID-19 symptoms. 
How to access more support Ministry of Health, NZ 
How to apply for a face mask exemption pass Ministry of Health NZ

A selection of trusted sources to go for COVID-19 advice for New Zealanders in general, and for Māori and Pacific people plus those needing interpreters or in special situations can be found on the resources page.

A free helpline has been set up for businesses: North Island 0800 500 362 and South Island 0800 50 50 96.

Aotearoa e te toa! Digital tools - using technology to recover from COVID-19 at home

(Health Navigator NZ, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, 2022)

View transcript

Learn more

COVID-19 including symptoms, how it is spread and what you can do to help prevent it
COVID-19 Information and advice translated into different languages Unite Against COVID-19, NZ
Unite against COVID-19 NZ Government
Covid-19 Education Immunisation Advisory Centre, NZ
COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Ministry of Health, NZ
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak World Health Organization
Easy to read information about COVID-19 Ministry of Health, NZ
Translated information about COVID-19 NZ Government
COVID-19 protection framework NZ Government
Testing and returning to work during Omicron Business Government NZ
New mask exemption card to remove uncertainty Unite Against COVID-19, NZ

Credits: Health Navigator Editorial Team.