About COVID-19

This website is the fastest way to find help and advice about the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand. If you’re not sure what assistance may be available, or don’t know who to contact for help, call the free government helpline on 0800 779 997 (8 am–1 am, 7 days a week). For advice, support and general enquiries please contact 0800 22 66 57 (8 am – 8 pm, Monday–Friday)

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a new virus that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a type of coronavirus. There are simple steps you can take to protect you, your family and whānau. 

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are: 

  • a fever (at least 38°C)  
  • a cough 
  • shortness of breath.

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as colds and flu. 

Got symptoms? Call your GP before you visit. Or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

Time for symptoms to appear

We’re still learning about COVID-19. We don’t yet know how long symptoms take to show after a person has been infected. Current evidence suggests it is 2–10 days. 

How it spreads

Like the flu, COVID-19 can be transmitted from person to person. The scientific evidence confirms that COVID-19 is spread by droplets. When an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, they may generate droplets containing the virus. These droplets are too large to stay in the air for long, so they quickly settle on surrounding surfaces.

People may get infected by the virus if they touch those surfaces or objects, and then touch their mouth, nose or eyes. 

That’s why it’s really important to use good hygiene, regularly wash and thoroughly dry your hands, and use good cough and sneeze etiquette. 

New Zealand's COVID-19 alert levels

New Zealand’s four-level COVID-19 alert system specifies public health and social measures to be taken against COVID-19.

The alert system means people can see and plan for the kinds of restrictions we may be required to put in place. This includes escalating restrictions on human contact, travel and business operations.

More information about the COVID-19 alert system

Government Helpline

This website is the fastest way to find help and advice about the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand. If you’re not sure what assistance may be available, or don’t know who to contact for help, call the free government helpline on 0800 779 997 (8 am–1 am, 7 days a week).

For advice, support and general enquiries please contact 0800 22 66 57 (8 am – 8 pm, Monday–Friday)

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