Preparing to self-isolate

We all need to be prepared to self-isolate if we get COVID-19, or are a Household Contact. This checklist can help you and your whānau make a plan.

Everyone in your household needs to isolate

If you or someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19, all of you must isolate for at least 7 days.

This means you cannot leave home to go to the supermarket, or to pick up essential supplies, like medication. You will need to have a plan for someone outside your household to collect them for you, or to get supplies delivered.

Most people who get COVID-19 will have a mild to moderate illness and can safely recover in their own home. For those who need help, the healthcare system will always be available.

Having a plan will make it easier when you all need to self-isolate.

Download COVID-19: Our isolation plan [PDF, 176 KB]

What to plan for

Food and groceries

  • Make a plan for how you will get food and essential supplies. You may want to ask friends, whānau or neighbours to do contactless drop-offs, or you can use a food delivery service.
  • If you have friends or whānau who are self-isolating, reach out and ask if they need anything dropped off, or if there is anything you can do to help.

          If you need support while you are self-isolating

Health and wellbeing 

  • Put together a hygiene kit with things like hand sanitiser, gloves, face masks, cleaning products and extra rubbish bags.
  • If you have people in your household who need extra support, make a plan for their care. If you have shared custody arrangements, talk to your child’s other parent or caregiver to decide what will happen.
  • Looking after your physical and mental wellbeing is important while you are at home. Try to think of ways you can get fresh air, or do some exercise. You can exercise outdoors in your neighbourhood — but you cannot use any shared facilities, like a public swimming pool. Keep a safe distance from others when exercising.

          Looking after your mental wellbeing

Medication and prescriptions

  • Check that you have basic medical supplies to help manage your symptoms. This could include pain relief, a thermometer, nasal spray, lozenges and your regular medications. 
  • If you are isolating and need medicine, you can contact your doctor or local pharmacy to arrange a delivery, or ask friends and whānau to collect it for you.
  • Make a list of whānau information — include NHI numbers, any medical conditions and medications or medical supplies each person will need. Include emergency contact information like your doctor, afterhours, and any support agencies.

Work and study

  • Talk to your employer and child’s school so you and your tamariki are set up for working and learning from home.
  • If you cannot work from home, talk to your employer about your pay and sick leave entitlements.

          Leave and pay entitlements during COVID-19 | (external link)

Your living situation 

  • Everyone’s living situation is different — you may be in a large family, living with flatmates, or you may live alone. For some people, it will be easier to limit contact with other household members if they have access to their own bathroom and bedroom. Talk with the people you live with to make a plan for how you will manage any shared spaces. 
  • Share your plan with wider whānau and neighbours and talk to them about what you will need them to do and how you can help each other. 

          How to self-isolate

Staying connected 

  • Make a list of activities you and your whānau can do to help pass the time. 
  • Have a plan with friends and whānau to stay connected online, so you do not have to isolate alone. 


  • Check you have enough pet food and supplies. If you are unable to look after a pet, ask someone else to care for them while you are isolating.

Note. This video refers to a COVID-19 Readiness Checklist which has now been revised to be the COVID-19: Isolation Plan.

Let people know you are isolating

Work out how to let people know your household is isolating. This could be a sign for your front door or fence. 

We are self-isolating poster [PDF, 1.5 MB]

Last updated: at