When to call for help

Emergency services will operate at all traffic light settings. If there is an emergency and you need urgent help, call 111 immediately even if you and your household are isolating.

Key points

  • Emergency services will operate at all traffic light settings.
  • If there is an emergency, and there is a threat to your life or property, call 111 immediately. 
  • If it is not an emergency, but you need advice about your symptoms or general health advice about COVID-19, call your doctor or Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453. Heathline is available 24 hours a day.

Emergency services at all traffic light settings

Emergency services will operate at all traffic light settings.

If there is an emergency, follow the usual emergency guidelines or advice from emergency authorities. Your safety comes first.

Once you are safe, then take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as physically distancing or wearing a face mask.

If there is a threat to your life or property, always dial 111 and ask for Police, Fire or Ambulance.

If you need medical help

Most people who get COVID-19 should be able to manage their symptoms safely at home. It is important to keep an eye on symptoms, particularly if they seem to be getting worse, and get help straight away if needed.

If you or someone in your household:

  • has trouble breathing, or is experiencing shortness of breath
  • has severe chest pain
  • feels faint or dizzy or becomes unconscious 

Call 111 immediately. Tell them you or someone in your household has COVID-19 when you call, so the paramedics can care for you safely. 

You will not have to pay for any COVID-19 related medical costs.

If you need medical advice about your symptoms, or other health advice while you and your household are isolating, call your doctor or Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453 for advice. Healthline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In the event of a fire

If your smoke detector or fire alarm goes off, keep calm and follow your normal escape plan. If there is an immediate threat to your safety, evacuate calmly and quickly. Maintain physical distancing where possible.

Once at your evacuation area maintain physical distance and wear a face mask, if possible.

Civil defence emergency

If you feel an earthquake, drop, cover and hold during the shaking. If you are near the coast, remember 'long or strong, get gone'.

If you are advised by your local Civil Defence authorities to evacuate because of a tsunami, flood, fire or other emergency, follow the evacuation advice you are given. If you are told to evacuate, you should move immediately. You must not stay at home. 

If you need to leave your house, take your grab bag with you. Maintain physical distance from others at all times if you can, and if it is safe to do so.

Information about what to do in an emergency | getready.govt.nz (external link)

If you need to evacuate when isolating

If you are isolating at home because of a public health order, you need to be prepared if there is a natural disaster.

Here are some tips on how to prepare and follow COVID-19 requirements if you need to evacuate your home.

  • Include face masks and other supplies, for example hand sanitiser, in your emergency grab bag.
  • Move to a safe location and stay there until you get more advice. Immediate safety​ overrides COVID-19 isolation requirements.
  • As soon as you and your whānau are safe, try to maintain physical distancing wherever possible.
  • Keep a record of where you have been and who you have been with while you have been moving to safety — health professionals will need this information if there is an identified case of COVID-19.

If an emergency event takes place but you are not at immediate risk, please stay home wherever possible.

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