Avoid COVID reinfection this winter

Winter is just around the corner and with it, a risk of catching COVID-19 again. See the latest guidance.

The Ministry of Health is continuing to monitor international evidence on reinfection rates. Current evidence shows the chance of having COVID-19 again within 90 days of a first infection, especially if it is the same variant, is low but it can occasionally happen.

Ensuring you minimise your chances of catching COVID-19 again is especially important for:

  • older people
  • those with higher risk health conditions
  • people who have frequent close contact with vulnerable people.

People who become unwell with respiratory symptoms within 90 days following a COVID-19 infection but are low risk, should stay at home and recover until 24 hours after most symptoms clear up. We do nott advise routinely retesting at home within this period but if someone becomes increasingly unwell they should seek advice from their doctor or Healthline.

Those more at-risk people who become unwell again within 90 days of their initial illness should seek further advice from a health practitioner. 

If you become unwell more than 90 days after a COVID-19 infection you should follow the same advice as for a first infection. It is important to take any respiratory illness seriously and take time to recover.

We are heading into the colder months — traditionally a time when there is also more sickness in general in the population. New Zealanders are well versed in following public health guidance — now is not the time to give up on those.

Please continue to:

  • stay at home if you are unwell
  • practise good hand hygiene
  • wear a face mask when out in public
  • maintain physical distance from others when possible.

Vaccination remains a key defence against winter ills and chills — both the COVID-19 vaccine and the influenza vaccine.

For more information on reinfection, visit:

Catching COVID-19 again | health.govt.nz (external link)

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