Although we now have COVID-19 in Aotearoa New Zealand, it has not yet spread throughout the country. Let's all play our part this summer to limit the spread.
There is no knowing how COVID-19 might spread across Aotearoa New Zealand but there are things you can do to help reduce it when you are out and about during the summer months.
As always, if you’re unwell, stay at home. Phone Healthline free on 0800 358 5453 or contact your GP for advice on getting a COVID-19 test.
If you’re away on holiday and you become unwell, seek medical advice immediately – don’t wait until you return home. The Ministry of Health has provided advice for people who are self-isolating with COVID-19 in an apartment or holiday home. The Delta strain of COVID-19 is highly infectious and is making people more unwell than the earlier strain. As Delta is the main form of COVID in the country, we need to protect ourselves and others. For more information about COVID-19, please visit Unite Against COVID-19.
Here are some more top tips to help stop the spread of COVID-19 this summer:
1. Scan, scan and scan again
If you haven’t already, download the NZ COVID Tracer app and make sure you scan in every time you enter a premise. This helps contact tracers get in touch quickly if a case pops up.
Scanning QR codes wherever you go is especially important at this time of year when shopping malls are busy and there are lots of functions and get-togethers going on, because you might not remember all the places you visit.
If you’re at a private residence and there’s no QR code, then you can manually sign in.
Learn more about how to keep track of where you’ve been.
2. Turn on Bluetooth tracing
Bluetooth tracing allows you to receive an alert if you’ve been near another app user who tests positive for COVID-19. Bluetooth tracing is great for large gatherings and events, like music festivals, when you’re surrounded by people you don't know.
Bluetooth tracing does not replace the need to scan NZ COVID Tracer QR codes. You still need to scan QR codes to keep track of where you’ve been. Bluetooth tracing is an added tool – it helps keep track of the people you’ve been near.
When you turn on Bluetooth tracing, your privacy is always protected – it can't share your location, your name or anything else about you.
3. Stay home if you're sick and don't have visitors
Do not travel or take part in activities if you’re unwell. If you’re feeling unwell, it’s critical you stay at home and recover. Although it might be disappointing to have to call off Christmas or new year plans, if you or anyone in your household is unwell it's important to stay away from others in case you make them sick too.
If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms while on you’re on holiday, don't wait until you get home to seek medical advice. Call Healthline free on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor or nurse practitioner to see about getting a test.
COVID-19 testing services will continue over the holiday period. If you’re away from home, you’ll still be able to access tests. By getting a test, you’re helping keep the community safe.
4. Wash your hands regularly
As always, wash your hands regularly to avoid catching or spreading COVID-19.
Wash often. Use soap. 20 seconds. Then dry. This kills the virus by bursting its protective bubble.
Carry hand sanitiser with you so you can sanitise when you’re out and about. Wash your hands every time you come home. Also, remember to cough or sneeze into your elbow and try not to touch your face.
5. Wear a mask/face covering
You are required to wear a face mask when you are on public transport, shopping and in public venues. Wearing a mask helps to reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 but it is important that it fits well and that you wear it properly.
6. Download your My Vaccine Pass
You can access your COVID-19 vaccination records through a website called My Covid Record, where you can access My Vaccine Pass for domestic use and international travel vaccination certificates. These are only available for people who are fully (double) vaccinated. Read more about My Covid Record and My Vaccine Pass. Vaccine passes will be needed to visit certain places, eg, hospitality and close contact businesses. You can print off a copy of your My Vaccine Pass or can keep it on your phone to show people who need to check it. If you are not vaccinated but would like to be, find out how to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
7. Check the protection framework (traffic lights) setting of any areas you might visit
There are different guidelines and restrictions in place around the country, and these depend on the setting (red, orange or green). If you are travelling out of your area, have a look at the setting in place for your holiday destination using the traffic light map, and make sure you follow the requirements for that setting. What you can do and where you can go will also depend on your vaccination status, as My Vaccine Pass will be required by many cafes, restaurants and at some social gatherings and events.
8. Check the locations of interest in case you have been in contact with somebody with COVID-19
Information is available on the places that people who have tested positive for COVID-19 have visited. The locations of interest website provides information on the exact location, the date and the time of day they were there so you can check to see if you were there at the same time and may have been infected. There is information provided on what to do if you were in any of these places at those times.
Have a great summer Aotearoa, and stay safe!
COVID-19 protection framework (traffic lights) Unite against COVID-19, NZ
COVID-19 contact tracing locations of interest Ministry of Health, NZ
Health guidance for summer Ministry of Health, NZ
Advice for people with COVID-19 Ministry of Health, NZ
Information for people with COVID-19 who are self-isolating in apartments, temporary or holiday accommodation Ministry of Health, NZ