Getting extra support if you have COVID-19 or are self-isolating

Many people will be able to manage self-isolation with help from friends and whānau, but there is help available if you need it.

Your COVID-19 welfare guide

If you are self-isolating because you have COVID-19, or you have been identified as a Close Contact, and you need extra support, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) can co-ordinate some support for you.

You may already have someone to support you while you are self-isolating. If you do not, MSD can arrange a COVID-19 welfare guide for you. They could be from a community organisation, a government agency, a marae-based service or support established by iwi.

It is important that you answer all calls when you are self-isolating, as your healthcare provider, MSD or another service may be trying to contact you.

COVID-19 welfare phone line

If you need support, you can call your COVID-19 welfare guide, if you have one, or the COVID-19 Welfare phone line on 0800 512 337, 7 days a week.

If you cannot manage with help from friends and family, your COVID-19 welfare guide and the COVID-19 welfare phone line can help you with:

  • getting access to food and essential items
  • mobile data so you can keep in contact with friends and whānau
  • getting support for personal care or daily tasks
  • talking to your employer if you are worried about your leave or pay
  • getting mental health support, or support with family or sexual violence.

Support for if you get COVID-19 [PDF, 227 KB]

Keep in contact

Keep in contact with your friends and whānau, your healthcare provider, and your COVID-19 welfare guide if you have one. This means they can:

  • check how you are feeling
  • monitor your health
  • check if you need basic supplies like food or medicines.

Access to food or essential items

We all need food and essential items such as medicine, so please do not try to go without. There are plenty of ways to get this to you.

  • Talk to your family, whānau, friends, iwi and neighbours to see if they can drop off items at your door.
  • If you are able to, you can use food delivery services such as supermarket home delivery, or any other delivery service.

Remember to ask people to leave deliveries outside your home. They could text or ring the doorbell to let you know it is there.

Some people may not feel comfortable asking for help, but it is best for you and the community if you do not try and face self-isolation alone.


If you need medicines, talk to your doctor or your local pharmacy. They will arrange getting your medicines safely delivered to your home.

Looking after tamariki (children)

Looking after your tamariki while you are self-isolating can be hard.

During the school year, talk with your tamariki's school or childcare centre about whether they can do online learning or provide resources while they are self-isolating. They may also be able to help with devices.

Ask your friends and whānau if they have games, books or puzzles your tamariki could use while they are self-isolating.

It is important you look after yourself and reach out for help or support when you or your tamariki need it.


When you are told you need to self-isolate, you will be asked about your living situation to find out if it is a suitable place for you to stay and self-isolate.

Income and employment

If you are waiting for COVID-19 test results or you have been told to self-isolate, and you cannot work from home, your employer can apply for financial support so that you can continue to get paid.

While you are waiting for your test result, your employer may be able to apply for the Short-term Absence Payment.

If you test positive for COVID-19 or have been told to self-isolate your employer may be able to apply for the Leave Support Scheme.

Financial support

Personal care

If you need personal care or help with daily tasks, your healthcare provider and COVID-19 welfare guide will work together to make sure your needs are met.

Mental health or addiction support

There are a range of people to talk to if you need it.

Where to get help | (external link)

Support with family violence or sexual violence

It is important you and your whānau are safe while you are self-isolating. If you are worried or just want to talk:

  • call 111 if you or someone else is in immediate danger of being harmed or may harm themselves
  • call Women's Refuge on 0800 733 843, for advice and support when you are dealing with violence in your life
  • call the Elder Abuse Helpline on 0800 32 668 65, for older people if they, or someone they know, are experiencing elder abuse.

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