NZ COVID Tracer app

The NZ COVID Tracer app helps you protect yourself, your whānau, and your community by enabling faster contact tracing.

What is NZ COVID Tracer

The NZ COVID Tracer app helps you keep track of where you’ve been. Using the app is one thing we can all do to help contact tracing go faster when there's a case of COVID-19 in the community, and stop the virus from spreading.

Use the NZ COVID Tracer app to: 

  • scan QR codes to create a private digital diary of the places you visit
  • use Bluetooth tracing to keep an anonymised record of the people you’ve been near
  • register your contact details so contact tracers can get in touch if they need to
  • save your National Health Index (NHI) number to speed up the process if you need a test. 

Scan QR codes or add a manual entry

Scan QR codes at businesses, services and events with NZ COVID Tracer to create a private digital diary of the places you visit.

If you visit the same place — at around the same time — as someone who later tests positive for COVID-19, you will receive an alert through the app with information on how to stay safe.

Scanning QR codes keeps us one step ahead of the virus — the more we scan the safer we’ll be.

How to scan QR codes

  1. When you’re out and about, and you see a QR code, open your NZ COVID Tracer app.
  2. Tap ‘Record a visit’ if it isn't already open.
  3. Point your phone at the QR code so it fits within the target area on your screen. Your phone will vibrate and a tick will appear to show you have successfully scanned the code and the entry has been saved.
  4. Tap on the text box if you want to add any further details such as who you were with or what you were doing.
  5. Then tap ‘Finish’ or ‘Okay’ to close the screen. There is no need to sign out of a place with the app when you leave.

Add a manual diary entry

You can add a manual entry to your digital diary if you cannot scan a QR code. You can also view and edit your diary at any time.

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. It's safe, private, and anonymous.

Bluetooth tracing is not intended to replace scanning QR codes. You still need to scan QR codes to keep track of where you’ve been. Bluetooth tracing helps keep track of the people we’ve been near.

How to turn Bluetooth tracing on

To turn on Bluetooth tracing:

  1. Open the app (version 3.0.0 and later) and tap on ‘Dashboard’ if it isn't already open.
  2. If Bluetooth tracing is already turned on, the dashboard will say ‘Bluetooth tracing is on’ — otherwise, it will say ‘Bluetooth tracing is off’.
  3. Tap on ‘Bluetooth tracing is off’ to bring up the option to turn it on.

Watch a video describing how to turn on Bluetooth tracing (external link)

How Bluetooth tracing works

Bluetooth tracing lets your phone swap anonymous random keys with nearby phones that also have Bluetooth tracing on. It’s like your phone is giving digital high-fives to other phones you're near. It records how close the other phone was, and for how long.

You do not have to have the app open for it to work and it does not use mobile data. Bluetooth tracing in the app uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This uses less power than Classic Bluetooth. This means there'll be a minimal impact on phone battery life.

If you or another app user in your community tests positive for COVID-19, app users who have been in close contact will get a Bluetooth alert. This alert will tell you what to do to keep yourself and your whānau safe.

Watch our Bluetooth tracing video below to see how it works.

Your personal data is private

Bluetooth tracing is entirely anonymous. No personal or identifying information swaps between phones. Bluetooth tracing cannot track your movements.

This means no one will ever see who you’ve been near, or when or where you were near them, even if you test positive for COVID-19.

How privacy is protected in the NZ COVID Tracer app (external link)

Register your information and save your NHI number

Register your information

Taking a minute to register your personal information and contact details makes it easier for contact tracers to reach you if they need to. This is optional but strongly recommended.

Register your information in the ‘My data’ section of the app.

How to register your information (external link)

Save your NHI number

If you need to visit a COVID-19 testing station, it's helpful to have your National Health Index (NHI) number with you, as this can help speed up the process. An NHI number is a unique identifier that everyone has if they use health and disability support services in New Zealand.

Save your NHI number in NZ COVID Tracer by going to the ‘My data’ screen and tapping on ‘My NHI details’.

Where to find your NHI number if you do not know it (external link)

Newest version of NZ COVID Tracer now available

Version 5.0.0 includes some new features that make the app easier to use and more useful.

This version of the app includes:

  • a new tab for more information, with refreshed links to the information people most often seek about COVID-19
  • a new diary view, splitting your diary by day, to make it easy to see which days you have diary entries and where you may have gaps
  • clear data labelling, so you can see the information stored on your phone, and what you can share with contact tracers
  • colour indicators for Bluetooth tracing, so you can tell when it’s active and when it’s not.

Videos

Videos

Other ways to keep track of where you’ve been

Scanning QR codes with the NZ COVID Tracer app keeps us one step ahead of the virus — the more we scan the safer we’ll be.
 
If you do not use the app, use whatever method works for you, like the NZ COVID Tracer booklet or your own paper notebook. Encourage your family, whānau and friends to do the same.

We recommend you keep track of the 3 Ws.

  • Where you went.
  • When you went there.
  • Who you met.

Print your NZ COVID Tracer booklet

Get help with NZ COVID Tracer

If you have questions or feedback about the app or any problems using it:

Privacy

Information about privacy and COVID-19 (external link)

Businesses and services

At all Alert Levels, you legally must display a NZ COVID Tracer QR code poster if you're a:

  • business or service
  • workplace
  • public transport operator.

Get your QR code poster

Alternative contact tracing systems for people who do not use the app