Our COVID-19 response

With overall COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalisations trending downwards, along with a highly vaccinated population and increased access to antiviral medicines, the last remaining mandatory COVID-19 requirements have been removed.

Key message

Thanks to the efforts of New Zealanders throughout the pandemic, we have saved thousands of lives. As well as each person and family who has followed the rules, we thank all those who have made extraordinary efforts to protect people and communities, including

  • iwi and Māori health providers
  • Pacific organisations
  • aged care providers
  • businesses
  • schools and other education providers.

What you need to know and do 

Stay at home if you are feeling unwell. If you, or someone in your household develops 1 or more of the following symptoms, you should take a rapid antigen test (RAT):

  • a runny nose
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • fever
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • headache
  • loss of smell or taste
  • shortness of breath. 

It is important to make sure you have enough RATs at home in case anyone in the household becomes unwell and needs to test. RATs will remain free for everyone throughout 2023. You can find out participating pick-up points for RATs and masks on the Healthpoint website, or by calling 0800 222 478 and choosing option 1.

COVID-19 Testing • Healthpoint (external link)

Remember to report your RAT result on My Covid Record, or call the helpline on 0800 222 478 and choose option 1, so you can be connected with any help and support you might need. 

My Covid Record (external link)


Isolation is an important way to manage the spread of the virus.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, we recommend you isolate for 5 days, even if you only have mild symptoms. Start your isolation from the day your symptoms started or when you tested positive, whichever came first. This means you should not go to work or school.

How to self-isolate

If you do need to leave your home during these 5 days, it is very important you take precautions to prevent spreading COVID-19 to others.  You should wear a mask whenever you leave the house. You should not:

  • visit a healthcare facility (except to access medical care)
  • visit an aged residential care facility
  • have contact with anyone at risk of getting seriously unwell with COVID-19.

You should discuss your return to work with your employer or your child’s return to school with their school principal. Your employer or school may require additional precautions.

If you are in isolation at the time of the setting change announcement, we recommend you continue isolating until you have completed 5 days. If you have already been isolating for 6 or 7 days, and are well, you can return to your normal activities.

If your symptoms have resolved and you feel well, you can return to your normal activities. Because you can remain infectious for up to 10 days, we recommend you wear a mask if you need to visit:

  • a healthcare facility (except to access medical care)
  • an aged residential care facility
  • anyone at risk of getting seriously unwell with COVID-19.

Facilities may continue to require all staff or visitors to wear masks regardless of whether they have recently had COVID-19.

Wearing a face mask

Household Contacts

If you, or a household member, test positive for COVID-19, other people living with you are also at higher risk of becoming infected. We recommend all household contacts continue to test with a RAT from the day the person with COVID-19 tests positive.

You are considered to be a household contact if you live with, or have spent at least 1 night or day (more than 8 hours) with someone who has COVID-19.  Household contacts should test daily for 5 days using a RAT.

Household Contacts

Antiviral medicines

Antiviral medicines are available for people at risk of becoming very sick with COVID-19, including:

  • Māori or Pacific people aged 50 or over 
  • everyone aged 65 or over 
  • anyone aged 50 or over with fewer than 2 COVID-19 vaccinations 
  • anyone with a severely weakened immune system 
  • anyone with Down syndrome 
  • anyone with sickle cell disease 
  • anyone who has previously been in critical high dependency hospital care from COVID-19 
  • anyone with 3 or more high-risk medical conditions. 

This will help protect our vulnerable communities.

Medicines to treat COVID-19

Mental health support

COVID-19 has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health. Effective mental health tools are available to help people recover from the impact of the pandemic.

Looking after your mental wellbeing

Travel requirements

Travellers and crew do not need proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter New Zealand. Please check with your travel provider, for example, your airline, as they may still require proof of vaccination.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms when you arrive in New Zealand by air, we encourage you to take a rapid antigen test (RAT). You can get free RATs at the airport.

Information for international travellers

Last updated: at