When to stay home

Staying at home is the best thing we can all do to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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Stay at home if you’re sick

If you have cold or flu like symptoms you should stay home, and call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested.

These symptoms include:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature of at least 38°C
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sneezing and runny nose
  • temporary loss of smell.

You can find more details about COVID-19 and its symptoms on the Ministry of Health website.

COVID-19 symptoms (external link)

If you have any of these symptoms it doesn’t necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as colds and flu.

More information for self-isolating if you’re unwell (external link)

Staying home at Alert Level 2

Stay home if you’re sick or have been told to self-isolate.

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 such as cold and flu like symptoms, stay home. Call your GP or Healthline immediately to ask about getting tested. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.

If you have been told to self-isolate, you must do so immediately.

Learn more about staying home at Alert Level 2

Staying home at Alert Level 3

Stay home whenever you are not at work, school, exercising or getting supplies.

If you can work or learn from home, you should do so.

People can extend their bubble to reconnect with close family and whānau, or bring in caregivers, or support isolated people. It’s okay to leave home to visit your extended bubble members.

Learn more about staying home at Alert Level 3

Staying home at Alert Level 4

You can leave your house to access essential services, like buying groceries, or going to a bank or pharmacy, or to go for a walk, exercise and enjoy nature.

Vulnerable people, in particular, should stay at home and self-isolate.

If you’re sick or have COVID-19 symptoms, you must:  

  • stay at home  
  • avoid close or prolonged contact with people you live with
  • stay off public transport
  • stay away from supermarkets and other essential businesses.

More information for self-isolating if you’re unwell (external link)

Print your stay at home plan [PDF, 1.5 MB]

Learn more about staying home at Alert Level 4

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