COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Updated 06 April 2020
This section provides some of the latest updates, information and advice on COVID-19.
Current COVID-19 Alert Level
For a summary of the current status visit the Ministry of Health's website here.
If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
Pacific Funeral Services
Bereaved families from all cultures and backgrounds will find this time challenging. This makes it even more important
that we show each other kindness and caring. There are now strict rules put in place during Alert Level 4 for when loved ones have passed away. These rules apply to everyone, every culture, every religion.This means that our ways of engaging with one another, our cultural and traditional practices must change.This information aims to support Pacific Peoples during these difficult times, but also uphold the Ministry of Health
COVID-19 Alert Level 4 Funerals and Tangihanga advice. This means no formal funeral arrangements until further notice. Please click here to read the Pacific Funeral Guideline in English and for the Pacific translations please click on the links below
Staying at home – what it means
We need your support to protect New Zealand and eradicate COVID-19. Enforcement measures may be used to ensure everyone acts together, now.
- Everyone must now stay home, except those providing essential services.
- Only make physical contact with those that you live with.
Don’t worry, during this time, you will be able to access all the essentials you need, including medicine, food and other home supplies.
- Supermarkets, dairies and pharmacies will remain open.
- When shopping, as much as possible send in only one family member at a time, practice physical distancing and hygiene rules while shopping.
- Dairies will operate a strict ‘one-in, one-out’ policy and they won’t be allowed to sell food prepared on the premises.
- Primary industries, including food and beverage production and processing, will still operate.
- Freight and courier drivers will continue to transport and deliver food.
- Grocery food deliveries – such as My Food Bag and Hello Fresh – are considered as essential and will continue as long as the food is not pre-cooked.
- Takeaway services will be closed.
- Liquor stores will close, unless within a licensing trust area and will operate with a strict ‘one-in, one-out’ policy. Wine and beer will continue to be sold at supermarkets.
- Places where the public congregate are closed.
- All bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, cinemas, pools, museums, libraries, playgrounds and any other place where the public congregate have closed their face-to-face functions.
- Playgrounds are classed as an area where people congregate and so are off-limits.
- People can exercise outdoors but must maintain a two metre distance from others.
- People are expected to stay local when leaving the home.
- Rubbish collection will continue. Check your local authority website for recycling.
- NZ Post will deliver mail and courier drivers will continue to make deliveries.
- Self-service laundries can stay open, as long as 2 metre physical distancing is enforced.
- Service stations will remain open and will be supplied.
- Public transport, regional air travel and ferries are mostly restricted to those involved in essential services and freight.
- Some public transport will be available for essential trips, such as to the supermarket or doctor, but options will be limited.
- Building and construction workers will carry on in cases where they’re needed to maintain human health or safety.
- You can go for a walk, run, or bike ride. Exercise is good for people’s mental health.
- If you do, it must be solitary, or with those you live with.
- Keep a 2 metre distance.
- However, if you are unwell, do NOT go outside.
- DOC has closed all its campsites and huts.
- Do not go hunting or hiking, and especially not on overnight trips.
- Staying at home is meant to reduce the transmission of the virus.
- For this to work, you are asked to only have contact with the people you live with.
- If you want to talk to a friend, call or video chat with them.
- If you want to talk to a neighbour, do it over the fence.
- Please note that children CAN travel between the homes of separated parents so as long as they live in the same town/city.
- Feel free to drop off groceries to others e.g. a grandma, but keep a 2 metre distance for her safety.
If you are unable to find what you need, and are not sure who to contact for help, call the free government helpline on 0800 779 997 or on 0800 22 66 57 (8am–1am, 7 days a week).
Only businesses that are essential may remain open during the Level 4 Alert period. If a business isn’t sure if it provides services or products which qualify as essential, it should close.
The Government is acting to support New Zealanders through these changes. This includes:
- a wage subsidy scheme
- leave and self-isolation support
- business cash flow and tax measures.
Your usual financial support, such as benefits, will continue.
Find out more about COVID-19 support including how to apply, on the (external link) Work and Income website.
All indoor and outdoor events cannot proceed.
This does not include workplaces of people undertaking essential businesses .
These requirements apply to family and social gatherings such as birthdays and weddings. These gatherings cannot go ahead.
We are asking you only spend time with those who you are in self-isolation with, and keep your distance from all others at all times.
All schools and early childhood education centres will be closed.
Schools will be providing information directly to all parents about what this means for them.
The upcoming school term break will be brought forward to start on Monday, 30 March. For the remainder of this week and through the term break, schools will establish ways to deliver teaching online and remotely.
Where possible, essential workers with children aged 0-14 need to make their own arrangements for childcare. We know this will not be possible for everyone.
Alternative arrangements are in place to allow essential workers to access childcare and continue to work.
Your employer will tell you if you qualify as an essential worker for these purposes.
Health and medical facilities are essential services and will remain open while we are at Alert Level 4.
Just because you have to stay home doesn't mean you can't get medical help if you need it. This includes healthcare services, such as Healthline, GPs, cancer services, disability and aged support services.
The way these services operate might change for example your GP might be talking to you over the phone rather than seeing you in person.
The health system will continue to provide the necessities of life for New Zealanders.
If you need to see a Doctor or other medical professional you MUST phone first.
Most consultations will happen over the phone (or by videoconference) to stop any risk of Covid-19 spreading by person to person contact.
If a face-to-face meeting is required, your doctor or other medical professional will organise this with you.
Please only call Healthline if you or someone you know feels unwell or you need medical advice, rather than general questions about COVID-19. It's important Healthline is able to answer calls from those who need medical advice. The more people who call asking for general information, the fewer people who need medical advice can get through.
If you cannot get through and are severely unwell, for example having trouble breathing, contact emergency services (dial 111).
You may not fly within New Zealand.
You may use a private vehicle to get food or medicine.
Using private vehicles for transport is allowed. Where possible, practice physical distancing.
Personal walks and other active travel like biking, is fine, provided you follow the two metre physical distancing requirement at all times.
Visitors and tourists can still use international air services to travel home but commercial flights have been impacted.
Do not go to the airport unless you have a ticket. If you do not have ticket contact a travel agent or airline directly. If you are unable to secure a ticket please contact your country embassy.
While in Alert Level 4, air travel will be used only for the transport of people undertaking essential services and the transport of freight.
Vulnerable people in particular should stay at home, and ask others to pick up supplies for them. You just need to ask them to leave these at the door, rather than come in. Drop offs at the door (rather than coming in) will protect vulnerable people from exposure to COVID-19.
You are at high-risk if you are over 70, have a compromised immune system or have underlying health conditions.
People with underlying medical conditions include a compromised immune system, liver disease, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease and diabetes mellitus, pregnant people or those on immunosuppressant medications.
You need to take more precautions to protect yourself against all infections, including COVID-19.
Your usual financial support, like benefits, will continue as normal.
Ministry of Health key messages
- COVID-19 is mostly spread through droplets in sneezes and coughs, so the best way to stop it spreading is by staying home when you're sick, sneezing and coughing into your elbow, and washing your hands with soap (and drying them well).
- If you are concerned and would like to seek medical advice, Healthline has a dedicated COVID-19 number 0800 358 5453 which is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Travel advisories are under close review so please check the Safe travel website as well as the IATA Travel Centre website if you have any upcoming international travel.
- Visit the Ministry of Health website for the latest advice and updates here
Information in Pacific Languages
Click here to visit the - Unite against COVID-19 website
Click here for a Pacific Church notice
Click here for the COVID-19 hand wash poster
Click here for a COVID-19 info card
Click here for Information sheets for general public