Guidance for new visitors to New Zealand about how to stay safe

How to keep yourself and others safe if you've recently arrived in New Zealand, or if you just need a reminder.

The border-related case detected on 20 April is a reminder of how important it is to keep up our public health behaviours. 

New visitors to New Zealand may feel unsure or anxious about how New Zealand responds to COVID-19 cases. Here is a guide to what you can do to keep yourself, your whānau and the community safe. 

Wash your hands, and cover your coughs and sneezes

Wash your hands often with soap, and dry them well. Use hand sanitiser when you’re out and about. Cough and sneeze into your elbow to keep droplets off your hands.

If you feel unwell

If you feel unwell or have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, stay home or in your accommodation. Call Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested.

If you’re offered a test, please take it. Tests are free of charge for everyone. By getting a test, you’re helping keep the community safe.

Symptoms include:

  • a new or worsening cough
  • a fever of at least 38°C
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sneezing and runny nose 
  • temporary loss of smell.

COVID-19 symptoms, including less-common symptoms

Keep track of where you’ve been

Keep track of your movements so we can let you know if there have been community cases of COVID-19 where you have been. Fast and effective contact tracing helps us to prevent any further spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

Use NZ COVID Tracer

Download and use the NZ COVID Tracer app to help you keep track of the places you’ve visited.

Scan QR codes at businesses and services to keep a private digital diary of everywhere you go.

Make sure you’ve turned on Bluetooth tracing — this allows you to receive an alert if you have been near another app user who tests positive for COVID-19. It is safe, private and anonymous.

You do not need a New Zealand phone or a New Zealand Apple or Google account to download NZ COVID Tracer.

Use your own paper notebook or keep a photo record

If you do not use the app, keep track of where you’ve been with your own pen and paper or keep a photo record. Remember to sign paper registers when you visit places like shops.

Wear your face covering

Make sure you wear your face covering on public transport and on domestic flights throughout New Zealand.

We also encourage you to wear your face covering when it’s hard to maintain physical distance, like in shops or other crowded places.

Wearing a face covering helps keep you and others safe. It helps stop droplets spreading when someone speaks, laughs, coughs or sneezes. This includes someone who has COVID-19 but feels well or has no obvious symptoms.

Where to get information about COVID-19

Covid19.govt.nz (this website), our social media channels and the Ministry of Health are New Zealand’s reliable sources of information and advice about our response to COVID-19. Make sure you know how to find these websites and social media channels so you can check them for updates.