Information for close contacts of people with COVID-19

If you have been near someone with COVID-19, Public Health may tell you that you are a close contact.

If you are a close contact:

  • You must immediately self-isolate for at least 14 days, counting from the day after you were last near the person with COVID-19. If they live with you, the first day of your isolation will be the day after the person leaves for the quarantine facility.
  • If others in your household develop symptoms, this isolation period may be extended.
  • If the infected person has lived with you, everyone in your household will be a close contact.
  • If the infected person has not lived with you, and you are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms, others in your household must now self-isolate. Public Health will advise.
  • Stay away from others in your home as much as possible.
  • Do not leave your home for any reason, except to be tested, for urgent medical help (phone in advance), or to exercise outside by yourself, staying away from others.
  • Do not go visiting or have visitors as you may get sick and spread the virus to others.
  • Public Health staff will ring you regularly to check your health. Let them know if you have symptoms. The phone number may not be a normal number so please answer unknown calls.

You must get tested.

  • This test is free, even if you are not a NZ citizen or resident.
  • Please be aware - even if your test result is normal (no COVID), you must continue to stay at home for the full self-isolation period.
  • You can also get a COVID-19 test from your family doctor, urgent care centre or community testing centre. Find your nearest testing centre here.
  • You may receive testing instructions (a code and location) so you can get a faster test result. Sometimes a mobile team will come to your home.
  • You will be asked to be tested twice, around day 5 and day 12 of your self-isolation. If you have symptoms, Public Health will ask you to be tested at other intervals.
  • All close contacts are required to stay at home for the full isolation period AND until Public Health clears them to leave.

Click here to go back to COVID-19 summary

If your test shows that you have COVID-19, or you get sick, we ask you to move to a quarantine hotel.

Even if you are not sick, it may be better for you to go into a quarantine hotel.
We may suggest you and your family stay in a hotel facility as -

  • You will have free access to medical staff onsite
  • You are less likely to spread the virus to other household members
  • You will have essentials such as meals and wifi provided
  • You will get the support you need
  • Your household members may be able to return to work and school faster than if you had stayed at home with them

Please discuss with the public health team whether you should bring immediate family members, e.g.  children with you.

The quarantine hotel will tell you when you should arrive at the hotel, please do not arrive unexpectedly.  You will receive a pick up time, if transport is arranged for you and your family. This gives you time to make arrangements for others staying at home or for pets to be cared for.

When on site, please follow the instructions of the staff.

  • Do not go to work, school or the supermarket. Do not have visitors or go outside your property
  • Stay at home for 14 days. Do not leave unless you go into a quarantine hotel, get tested or need urgent medical care (phone ahead first).
  • Avoid contact with others living in your home – stay 2 metres away and do not share personal items like cups and towels
  • Wear a face mask or face covering. It is recommended that each household member has face covering.
  • Get food and supplies dropped off outside your door by friends or through online shopping
  • For more on self-isolation see the detailed information guides:


If you or your family become unwell, call your local doctor or free phone Healthline: 0800 358 5453, available 24 hours, 7 days a week, and interpreters are available.

Tell them you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

The symptoms are:

  • New or worsening cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Temporary loss of smell
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose.

If you become severely unwell or have difficulty breathing, immediately call an ambulance on 111 and tell them you are a close contact of someone confirmed as having COVID-19.

Last updated 21.10.2020

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