Contacts of someone who has COVID-19

Advice for people who are a contact of someone who has COVID-19.

If you've been around someone with COVID-19

A contact is someone who has had exposure to a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19. You're a contact if you were at a location of interest at the same time as a person with COVID-19.

Your level of exposure will depend on what actions you need to take. This will often be staying home and getting a test. The day you're exposed is day 0.

A negative test means you do not have COVID-19.

A positive test means you do have COVID-19. Public Health will contact you.

What to do if you're a contact

Anyone who was at a location of interest at the same time as a person with COVID-19 is considered a contact.

The Ministry of Health will have locations of interest and advice for people who have been at those locations. It's important that you follow the health advice and get a test as needed.

Contact tracing locations of interest | (external link)

You will need to check:

  • the location and address details
  • the date and relevant times
  • instruction on what to do.

Call your GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you have been at a location of interest or have symptoms.

If you have difficulty breathing, call an ambulance on 111.

Watch for COVID-19 symptoms

If you’re a contact of someone who has COVID-19, you’ll need to watch for symptoms for 14 days after you were last near that person.

COVID-19 symptoms can include one or more of the following:

  • new or worsening cough
  • fever
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sneezing and runny nose
  • loss of taste or smell
  • fatigue
  • diarrhoea
  • headache
  • muscle pain or body aches
  • nausea and vomiting
  • confusion and irritability.

What to do if you're a secondary contact

Secondary contacts are household members or someone that has had significant contact with someone who has been at a location of interest.

If the person who was at a location of interest develops symptoms, then secondary contacts should stay home until the contact returns a negative test result.

If you're a secondary contact, you should watch for symptoms.

If you do get symptoms:

  • stay home
  • call Healthline
  • get tested.

You'll need to stay at home until you get a negative result and it has been 24 hours since you've had any symptoms.

More information

You can find more information and advice about close and casual contacts on the Ministry of Health’s website.

Contact tracing for COVID-19 – Ministry of Health (external link)

Financial support

There’s financial support for people who need to stay at home due to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment

COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme

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