The current phase of our COVID-19 response

New Zealand’s COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights) has ended. With case numbers low, most COVID-19 rules were removed on 13 September 2022.

About the current phase

Protecting lives and livelihoods remains the goal of the Government’s COVID-19 response. It is now possible to do this with fewer requirements, giving greater certainty to people, businesses and communities.

With case numbers falling, a highly vaccinated population, and increased access to antiviral medicines to treat COVID-19, public health experts say it is safe to remove most COVID-19 rules and end border restrictions.

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 iwi and Māori health providers, Pacific organisations, aged care providers, businesses, schools and other education providers who have made extraordinary efforts to protect people and communities.

Managing the virus

Isolation is our main tool to manage the spread of the virus. It is the most effective way to keep case numbers low. Isolating for 7 days remains a requirement for everyone who tests positive.

To monitor for new variants arriving from overseas, the Government will continue to use:

  • follow-up PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and genome sequencing of positive cases in travellers
  • targeted surveillance at the border.

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


What you need to know and do 

Isolation and face masks

From 13 September 2022 you must still:

  • isolate for 7 days if you have COVID-19
  • wear a face mask in certain healthcare facilities, such as hospitals.

Some places may continue to ask people to wear a face mask.

How to self-isolate

Wearing a face mask

Household Contacts

Household Contacts no longer need to isolate for 7 days. If you live with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, we recommend you:

  • take a rapid antigen test (RAT) each day for 5 days
  • avoid contact with the person who has COVID-19.

Household Contacts

Antiviral medicines

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

  • any New Zealander aged 65 or older
  • Māori and Pacific peoples aged 50 or older
  • anyone with 3 high-risk conditions.

This will help protect our vulnerable communities.

Medicines to treat COVID-19

Vaccine mandates

All government vaccine mandates have ended. Some employers may still require workers to be vaccinated due to health and safety.

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


COVID-19 guidance for communities

Information for places of worship on how to operate safely:

COVID-19 guidance for places of worship [PDF, 60 KB]

For information and advice for whānau and marae, see this Karawhiua factsheet:

Staying safe with COVID-19 changes [PDF, 776 KB]

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