Be prepared for COVID-19 and isolating at home

If you get COVID-19, you have to isolate for 7 days. While COVID-19 can be a serious illness, most people will have mild to moderate symptoms and feel better within a couple of weeks. 

There are things you can do to reduce the risk of getting COVID-19, and also to prepare in case you or someone in your whānau has COVID-19.

Get vaccinated and get boosted

Being vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your whānau from COVID-19. Anyone in Aotearoa aged 5 and over can get vaccinated.

Ages 16+ are eligible for boosters. If you've had COVID-19 it's recommended you wait 3 months after testing positive before getting any COVID-19 vaccination.

Being fully vaccinated and boosted won't always prevent you getting infected but it will greatly reduce the likelihood of becoming very sick or dying.

Book your vaccine today


COVID-19 vaccination

For credible sources and resources on the COVID-19 Vaccination click here


Being ready

Everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 needs to stay at home for 7 days and avoid contact with others, including whānau.

Being ready is about people, conversations, connections and knowing what to do. Being ready will mean your whānau and community can help each other if needed.


Stock up on supplies and other essentials

While people are encouraged to shop normally because essential food and items will always be available, it is a good idea to make sure you have some extra provisions at home for if you have to self-isolate.

You should consider essential items you may need if you have to self-isolate at home, such as:

  • Food, especially frozen, canned and dried food

  • Medicines

  • Cleaning supplies

  • Hygiene products

  • Baby supplies i.e. nappies, baby food

  • Pet food etc.

  • Toiletries


What to tell others if you have COVID-19

Telling visitors

If you or your whānau get COVID-19 you cannot have visitors over. This is because COVID-19 spreads easily, especially indoors.

You can put this poster on your door if you want to let others know you are not having visitors in your home.


Telling your employer you have COVID-19

If you get COVID-19 you cannot go to work. Financial support is available if you have to miss work because of COVID-19.


Key phone numbers to call if you have COVID-19

For emergencies

If you are very unwell or are having difficulty breathing call 111. Request an ambulance and tell them you or someone in your whānau has COVID-19.


For general help or health advice

Call your GP, healthcare provider or Healthline on 0800 358 5453. Healthline is a free service, available 24 hours a day, with interpreters available if you need them.


For welfare support

The Ministry of Social Development can co-ordinate extra support if you are self-isolating because you have COVID-19.


If you need to talk to someone

It’s okay to not be okay. While isolating at home you may feel sad, distressed, worried, confused or anxious.

You can reach out to family or friends, or connect with the below services:

  • Text or call 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor

  • Lifeline 0800 543 345 or text HELP (4357) to talk to a trained counsellor

  • Samaritans 0800 726 666 for someone who will listen

  • Depression Helpline 0800 111 757 or text 4202 to talk to a trained counsellor

  • Asian Family Services 0800 862 342

  • Le Va 09 261 3490 – National Pacific mental health
  • Download: support numbers 


Getting food and essential items when isolating

Talk to your family, whānau, friends and neighbours to see if they could deliver essential items to you. Alternatively you can:

  • Try food delivery such as supermarket home delivery, food parcels, frozen pre-prepared meals, subscription food boxes or any other whole-food delivery service.

  • If you need food urgently, your local foodbank may be able to help. Find your local foodbank

  • You can also contact the Student Volunteer Army and ask about its grocery delivery service.


Support for whānau

Whānau Ora helps whānau access health and welfare services, and meet basic needs for food, accommodation, heating, internet connectivity, water and sewerage.

You can contact Whānau Ora on 0800 929 282.


Support for older people

Anyone can call Age Concern New Zealand on 0800 65 2105 to get advice and support.


Support for Pacific peoples

Vaka Tautua provides a free call service in Samoan, Tongan, Cook Islands, Te Reo Māori and English. You can call for free on 0800 652 535 Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm.


Financial support

Visit the Work and Income website for urgent financial support and ongoing needs. You can apply for a main benefit online and check your eligibility for food assistance.

In MyMSD you can check your payments, tell MSD about changes and apply for a benefit or NZ Super: Use MyMSD.

You can also use the COVID-19 financial support tool on the Unite Against COVID-19 website to see what support is available to you: Use the financial support tool.

Further information on support can be found here: