Household Contacts

You are a Household Contact if you live with, or spend at least 8 hours at a residence with, someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Find out what you need to do.

Key points

Who is a Household Contact

You are a Household Contact if you:

  • normally live in a house or flat on a permanent or part-time basis (for example, shared custody) with a person who has tested positive, and
  • you spent at least 1 night or day (more than 8 hours) in that residence while the person was infectious.

You are also a Household Contact if you do not normally share a residence with the person who has COVID-19, but have spent a night together in the same room.

If you are travelling or holidaying

For people who are travelling or holidaying around New Zealand, Household Contacts include people who are sharing non-communal holiday accommodation such as a:

  • hotel room
  • tent
  • campervan
  • temporary holiday home (such as a bach, Airbnb or similar).

If you get COVID-19 while travelling

Who is not a Household Contact

The following people may be Close Contacts, but are not Household Contacts:

  • People who live in the same group accommodation as the person with COVID-19 (for example, in aged residential care facilities, halls of residences, boarding houses, hostels, backpackers, and transitional housing).

Advice for Close Contacts

If you have not had COVID-19 in the past 3 months

Whether you are fully vaccinated or not, you will need to:

  • isolate for 7 days, starting from the day the person with COVID-19 tests positive or their symptoms started — whichever came first, and
  • get a test for COVID-19 on Day 3, and on Day 7 of the isolation period, or sooner if you develop symptoms. If you test positive, follow the guidance for people with COVID-19. If you develop symptoms but test negative, do another rapid antigen test (RAT) 48 hours later.

While you are isolating, try to avoid contact with the person who has COVID-19.

How to get a COVID-19 test

If you have COVID-19

When you can leave self-isolation

Your isolation ends at the same time as the first person in your household who had COVID-19 if:

  • your Day 7 test was negative
  • you have no new or worsening symptoms.

You can work out your isolation dates using the tool on the COVID-19 Health Hub:

Create your household isolation timeline | covid19.health.nz (external link)

For further guidance and advice, visit the COVID-19 Health Hub:

I am a household contact | covid19.health.nz (external link)

If more than 1 person in your household tests positive

If more than 1 person in your household tests positive after the first person, you do not need to restart your isolation period.

Only restart your 7-day isolation period if you test positive on Day 3 or Day 7, or develop new or worsening symptoms.

You can work out your isolation dates using the tool on the COVID-19 Health Hub:

Create your household isolation timeline | covid19.health.nz (external link)

If you have recovered from COVID-19

Once you have recovered from COVID-19, you do not need to isolate again for 3 months — even if someone you live with tests positive.

This is because the risk of reinfection during this period is low.

If you develop new cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms within 90 days of your original infection, and are at low risk of severe illness, stay home and recover until 24 hours after you no longer have symptoms. You do not need to take a rapid antigen test (RAT).

If you have an underlying health condition or have symptoms that are getting worse, seek advice from a health practitioner or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

After you have had COVID-19

Critical workers who are Household Contacts

Some people who are Household Contacts and critical workers may be able to still go to work through the Close Contact Exemption Scheme. When you are not at work, you must follow the self-isolation guidance.

Critical workers need to be fully vaccinated, have no symptoms and have a negative RAT before going to work. Your employer will let you know if the scheme applies to you.

Critical workers

Financial support

There is financial support for people who need to stay at home due to COVID-19.

Find out what financial support is available

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