If you have COVID-19

If you have COVID-19 you need to self-isolate for 7 days. Find out what else you need to do.

COVID-19 Health Hub

Find detailed advice about managing your symptoms and what to do while you are self-isolating on the Ministry of Health's COVID-19 Health Hub.

COVID-19 Health Hub (external link)

Report your test result

If you have taken a rapid antigen test (RAT), report your positive result online or by calling the helpline.

How to report your RAT result

The Ministry of Health will then send you a text message from the official 2328 or 2648 numbers to confirm your positive result. This has information about self-isolation, support options, and a 6-digit access code for the online contact tracing form.

If you had a PCR test, you will get a text message with your result.

If your employer asks to see proof that you must to isolate, you can use this text message. You do not need a medical certificate from a doctor.

Proof of isolation for employees and employers | Ministry of Health (external link)

Start your 7 days of self-isolation

You must self-isolate for 7 days while you recover.

Day 0 is the day your symptoms started or when you tested positive, whichever came first.

Create your household isolation and testing timeline | COVID-19 Health Hub (external link)

Your Household Contacts do not need to isolate. They should test daily for 5 days. If they test positive, they need to begin 7 days of isolation as someone with COVID-19.

Advice for your Household Contacts

What to do during self-isolation

You must stay at home and avoid contact with other people in your household.

Find out what to do when self-isolating, including permitted reasons to leave self-isolation, and how to ventilate your home.

How to self-isolate

Ventilation and COVID-19

Fill in the contact tracing form

Complete the Ministry of Health’s contact tracing form using your 6-digit access code. (You can find this code in the text message from the official 2328 or 2648 numbers.) For most people, the form will take 5 to 10 minutes to fill in.

If you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and do not complete the form within 12 hours, you will get a phone call.

Contact tracing form user guides | Ministry of Health (external link)

You also need to tell your close contacts you have COVID-19. This includes the people you live with, and your workplace or school.

Advice on how to tell people you have COVID-19 | COVID-19 Health Hub (external link)

Monitor and manage your symptoms

Most people with COVID-19 — especially if they are fully vaccinated and boosted — are likely to have a mild to moderate illness and will be fine to recover at home.

Symptoms for COVID-19 tend to show 2 to 5 days after a person has been infected but can take up to 14 days. Omicron causes similar symptoms to other variants.

Advice on managing your COVID-19 symptoms | COVID-19 Health Hub (external link)

If you need advice

If you need advice on how to treat your symptoms or have worsening symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

If it is an emergency

If your symptoms get worse or you need urgent medical care, call your local healthcare provider or Healthline on 0800 358 5453

If you or the person you are caring for develops difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, fainting or becomes unconscious, call 111 immediately.

Medicines are available to treat COVID-19

Medicines to treat COVID-19 are available for people who are at risk of developing serious illness and for some people who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Medicines to treat COVID-19

COVID-19 healthcare is free

You will not have to pay for any COVID-19 related medical costs for up to 6 weeks from the first day you develop symptoms or the date of your first positive test, whichever came first.

This includes 1 follow-up check with your healthcare provider if required during those 6 weeks, once your acute episode of COVID-19 is over.

After you have had the follow-up check, if you required one, and you no longer have acute COVID-19, you will then need to pay for your future visits to your doctor and prescription dispensing fees, just as you would for other medical conditions, even if it is within the 6-week period.

If you are a visitor to New Zealand for a holiday or other temporary stay, you may need to pay for any healthcare costs.

Video: How to manage COVID-19 symptoms at home

Finish your self-isolation

You can end your self-isolation 7 days after your symptoms started or you tested positive, whichever came first. 

You do not need to wait for an official message to leave self-isolation. You may receive a text message confirming your self-isolation period has ended.

You do not need a negative RAT result to return to work or school.

If you are still sick

Some people can still be infectious after 7 days. If you are still sick at the end of your self-isolation period, stay home until you are well and for 24 hours after you no longer have symptoms.

If someone you live with gets COVID-19

You do not need to isolate as a Household Contact for 90 days from when you first tested positive if someone else in your household gets COVID-19 during this time.

The chance of you being reinfected with COVID-19 in the 90 days after testing positive is low.

After you have had COVID-19

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