COVID-19 guidance for workplaces and education settings

If a person with COVID-19 visits or attends your workplace, business or organisation you may need to take action to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading. 

Support and guidance is available to help you manage this:

If you are a critical service and need support managing a COVID-19 outbreak fill in our contact form.


COVID-19 guidance for education settings

Confirmed cases at your premises

Guidance on managing COVID-19 exposure events at schools, kura, early learning services and kōhanga reo is available from the Ministry of EducationIf you learn about a case at your early learning service or school please contact your local Ministry of Education Single Point of Contact (SPOC). 

Getting prepared

There are steps schools, kura, early learning services and kōhanga reo can take to get ready for COVID-19 cases on-site and reduce the risk of students and staff getting the virus.

Download our Beat the Bugs: COVID-19 guide (PDF) to learn more.

Getting vaccinated

The best way to protect yourself, your staff and students against the virus is to encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated. Children aged 5 to 11 can now get the vaccine too.

More information on the vaccine is available from Tamariki Time. You can also use these resources to talk to children and carers about the vaccine:

For more information visit Unite Against COVID-19: Vaccinating Children.

A COVID-19 safety plan is critical to keeping people who use your premises safe. You will need to follow the COVID-19 Protection Framework requirements for your workplace or organisation type.

Additional areas you should consider include:

  • Encouraging or requiring the use of three layered or medical face masks
  • Working in bubbles, and having physical distancing and limits on numbers indoors as required
  • Enabling and encouraging good health, hygiene and safety practices
  • Displaying NZ COVID Tracer QR code posters and paper-based sign in systems, including recording of external contractors or visitors
  • Maximising ventilation/air filtration systems
  • Daily screening of staff or those regularly on site to identify possible COVID-19 symptoms
  • Encouraging and enabling vaccination and keeping records of vaccination status (where known)
  • Promoting regular testing (also known as surveillance testing) - this may need to be arranged via a private provider as not all employers are eligible for funded testing 
  • Staggering break times or limiting times when people are eating or drinking together indoors
  • Consider adopting practices to lower the risk, for example offering contactless options for people to engage with your premises
  • Update your business after-hours details in the COVID Tracer database or have an after-hours email or mobile on your website, so you can alerted of a case at the weekend.

If you have had COVID-19 cases at your workplace you may want to develop an outbreak response plan. This should consider the below areas.

Infection control strategies on-site including cleaning
A normal clean is usually all that is required after a COVID-19 positive case has been there. Airing out the area can also be a good idea. If possible improve ventilation by opening windows and doors to aid air flow. Cleaning guidance is available from the Ministry of Health.

Visitor management/closure
Once you have been notified that a case has been at your premise, you may want to stop others entering the premises (or areas of your premises) until all close contacts have been identified and are in isolation. Once this has occurred, the risk to others is low so your business can continue to operate.

Vaccination plan and further prevention measures
Vaccinations are the best way to reduce the risk of COVID-19, and ensure your organisation is able to remain open. Those who are not identified as close contacts and do not have symptoms can get vaccinated at any time. Tell those who use your premise to visit for more information.

Ongoing prevention and control

Other steps you can put in place following an exposure event to improve prevention and control may include:

  • Encouraging proper mask use and limiting times where people have their mask down at the same time (e.g. having a drink or food, especially indoors).
  • Having staff or others work in bubbles, where groups work together consistently and there isn’t mixing of these bubbles.
  • Raising awareness of the signs of COVID-19 and how to stay safe. It is important people don’t come onto your premises if symptomatic or if they have been identified as a close contact. Anyone with symptoms needs to get tested immediately and stay home until they have a negative test result. 

There is specific support and help for Pasifika Peoples impacted by COVID-19. If you have employees from the Pasifika community you may wish to share these resources and information with them. Additional support agencies can also be found on the Ministry for Pasific Peoples website.


Family support

Pasifika Futures are referring Pacific families who need to access a COVID-19 support package to a supporting agency.

Call your local provider to see if you are eligible for support.


Whānau Ora

If you need a Whānau Ora Family Support Package contact one of our partners.

The Fono: Feleoko Food Hub

The Village Community Services Trust

Mount Wellington Integrated Health Centre

More support providers are available at Unite against COVID-19.

Last updated 16.5.2022

For health advice call Healthline for free anytime on 0800 611 116
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