If you test positive for COVID-19 while visiting New Zealand

What to do if you have travelled to New Zealand for a holiday or other temporary stay and test positive after being in New Zealand for 7 days or longer.

Step 1: Confirming you are positive

Report your positive rapid antigen test (RAT) by calling 0800 222 478 and get instructions on what to do.

The Ministry of Health will send you a text message from the official 2328 or 2648 numbers confirming your positive result. This text will provide information about self-isolation and a 6-digit access code for an online contact tracing form.

Tell your accommodation provider

You should tell your accommodation provider, the people you are staying with, people you have spent time with, such as tour operators, and any other close contacts, that you have COVID-19.

Step 2: Self-isolate for 7 days

It is your responsibility to find a place to self-isolate

Self-isolation reduces the risk of spreading the virus to others. You must isolate for at least 7 days while you recover. Your 7 days start from Day 0 — the day your symptoms started or the day you got tested.

If you want extra RATs, these can be purchased from pharmacies, supermarkets, online or picked up from a collection point.

Where to get a test

You are required to isolate where you are or find alternative accommodation. If you do not comply, you can be fined.

Check with your current accommodation provider to extend your current booking or be prepared to look for alternative accommodation.

You are expected to meet any additional costs associated with extending your stay or booking alternative accommodation. Check your travel insurance policy to see if you are covered.

If you cannot stay in your accommodation

If cannot stay in your current accommodation, you must find alternative accommodation. It must be:

  • close to where you are
  • without shared guest facilities.

Isolation accommodation can be self-contained motels, hotels, or campervans. Ask your current accommodation provider for help finding somewhere suitable.

You cannot:

  • take a commercial flight to your accommodation
  • do any long-distance road travel that requires an overnight stay
  • take an interisland ferry or public transport.

Private transport can be used to relocate to your alternative isolation accommodation. It can be your own vehicle, or you can a hire vehicle if it is contactless payment and collection.

Reschedule or cancel your travel plans or activities

Remember to contact your airline or tourism operator to reschedule any travel plans or activities. Please note, there is no legal obligation on the provider to provide a refund or reschedule. 

What you need to know when you are self-isolating

The people who are staying with you are your Household Contacts. They will also need to self-isolate.

Advice for your Household Contacts

When does my 7-day isolation start/end?

Step 3: Start contact tracing

Tell people you have COVID-19

COVID-19, especially the Omicron variant, is highly infectious. You are protecting your health and theirs by telling them as soon as possible. 

You should tell the people you are staying with, your accommodation provider, people you have spent time with, such as tour operators, and any other close contacts, that you have COVID-19. They may need to isolate as well.

Advice on how to tell people you have COVID-19 | covid19.health.nz (external link)

Fill in the online contact tracing form

Complete the Ministry of Health’s contact tracing form using the 6-digit access code you received in the text message from the official 2328 or 2648 numbers. For most people, it will take 5 to 10 minutes to fill in. 

Complete the contact tracing form | health.govt.nz (external link)

Step 4: Monitor and manage your symptoms

Most people with COVID-19, especially if they are vaccinated and boosted, are likely to have a mild to moderate illness and will be fine to self-manage.

If you need advice

If you need any advice on how to treat your symptoms or have worsening symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider or call Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453. Tell them you have COVID-19. Translation services are available.

In an emergency

If it is an emergency and you need urgent medical help call 111 immediately. Tell them you have COVID-19 when you call. This can include if you or someone you care for has:

  • severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • severe chest pain or discomfort
  • difficulty waking up or is very drowsy.

Getting medical assistance

If you need extra medication while self-isolating, contact a local doctor or pharmacy to arrange for a prescription to be filled locally or medication to be delivered.

Costs may apply for medical assistance — travellers should hold comprehensive health/COVID-19 insurance.

If you are an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident or are a citizen of the United Kingdom, there is a reciprocal health agreement that means you pay what New Zealanders pay for healthcare.

Consider contacting your embassy, consulate or High Commission if you go into hospital or require consular assistance.

Step 5: What to do when self-isolating

What you can do when isolating

  • Avoid contact with the people you are staying with — for example, sleep by yourself if you can and limit the time you spend in shared spaces. If you cannot, you should stay at least 2 metres apart and wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth when near others.
  • Do your own laundry.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly. This includes items frequently touched like door handles, light switches and phones.
  • Open windows to increase fresh air flow inside. The risk of spreading COVID-19 is highest in crowded and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • You can get deliveries, such as food and medicine, by ordering supplies online.
  • You can work from your accommodation if you are able to do so.

What not to do when isolating

  • Do not leave your accommodation for any reason (unless it is a permitted reason such as seeking urgent medical care or exercising).
  • Do not go out to get food or medicine.
  • Do not share items with others in your household — for example, dishes, toothbrushes, and towels.
  • Do not go to public places.
  • Do not use public transport or taxis and rideshare vehicles.
  • Do not have visitors, except people providing essential care to you or someone in the household.

Permitted reasons to leave your place of isolation

You can leave your accommodation if you wear a face mask at all times to:

  • report for, and undergo, any medical examination and testing required
  • access an essential health service for treatment that cannot wait until after your self-isolation has finished
  • move to another place of self-isolation in order to preserve your own or another person’s life, health, or safety 
  • exercise outdoors in the neighbourhood you are staying in (do not use any shared exercise facility, such as a swimming pool)
  • visit a dying relative who is not expected to live beyond your period of self-isolation 
  • visit the body of a relative before a funeral or tangihanga, if you will not be able to visit the body after your period of self-isolation.

Step 6: Ending self-isolation

You can end your self-isolation after 7 days

If you are still sick, stay in your accommodation until you are well and for 24 hours after you no longer have symptoms. 

You do not need to wait for an official message or release to leave isolation. 

You do not need to be tested. If you were, the result would likely show as positive but that does not mean you are infectious.

Your Household Contacts can complete their isolation at the same time as you, as long as their Day 7 test was negative and they have no new or worsening symptoms. If their tests are positive, they need to begin 7 days of isolation as someone with COVID-19.

After you have recovered

After you have recovered from COVID-19 and left isolation, there are a few things you should do and be mindful of in your recovery.

After you have had COVID-19

Before you travel home or onwards to another destination

Check if you need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, or a medical certificate confirming you have recovered before you travel. If you have recently recovered from COVID-19, your pre-departure test may show a positive result. 

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