Current situation in the greater Wellington region   Resources   Frequently asked questions


Alert Level 2 – what it means

You have more freedom of movement at Alert Level 2, but it’s up to each one of us to keep the rest of New Zealand safe.

These are the most important things that you can remember and do:

  • COVID-19 is still out there. Play it safe.
  • Keep your distance from other people in public.
  • If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
  • If you have symptoms of cold or flu call your doctor or Healthline and get advice about being tested.
  • Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow, regularly disinfect surfaces.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
  • Keep a track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen.

For more information on what staying at home means, visit the website.


Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza. Having any of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have COVID-19.

Symptoms include: fever, coughing. difficulty breathing, sore throat, sneezing/runny nose and/or a temporary loss of smell.

Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.

If you have these symptoms please call Healthlinefor free on 0800 358 5453 or you can call your doctor. If you're outside New Zealand call +64 9 358 5453 or your doctor. Call your doctor before visiting.

Interpreters are available through Healthline.

Community-based assessment centres (CBACs)

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or call your local GP for advice.

Your GP or Healthline may refer you to a CBAC (community based assessment centre) to be screened and assessed for testing, and tested if you meet the Ministry of Health criteria.

Simple tips to stay well

We realise the current situation with COVID-19 may cause increased levels of anxiety. Be sure to continue to connect with whānau, friends, neighbours and colleagues. Sharing how we feel and offering support to others is important. We also recommend sticking to a routine such as having regular mealtimes, bedtimes and exercising.

The following are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself from COVID-19 and other illnesses in the community:

  • checking in on older relatives or vulnerable people to make sure they have everything they need.
  • talking to friends, whānau and neighbours to see how they are and if they need support.
  • dropping essential supplies, like food or medications, to those at risk or are at home.

COVID-19 contact tracing FAQs

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing involves tracking down all the people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and working with them to keep themselves and others safe. This helps prevent the spread of the virus by ensuring people who may be at a higher risk can take appropriate precautions and seek early healthcare if necessary.

What happens?

Regional Public Health use contact tracing to find people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Once a case has been identified, we trace people who may have been in contact with the case to see if they have become infected. There are two types of ‘contacts’ – close contacts and casual contacts. Contacts will receive advice based on what type of contact they are. This advice may include instructions for self-isolation and checking in on your health and wellbeing.

How you can help us

Please monitor your close contacts and keep a track of where you’ve been. Whether you’re using a contact tracing app such as the NZ COVID Tracer app or prefer to keep a diary of where you’ve been, who you’ve seen and any public transport you’ve used, you will help us greatly to do our job. The faster we can trace contacts, the faster we can prevent further spread of the disease.

Close contacts

Close contacts are those that are likely to be at a higher risk of being infected.

‘Close contact’ is defined as any person with the following exposure to a suspect, confirmed or probable case during the case’s infectious period, without appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE):

  • direct contact with the body fluids or the laboratory specimens of a case
  • presence in the same room in a health care setting when an aerosol-generating procedure is undertaken on a case
  • living in the same household or household-like setting (e.g. shared section of in a hostel) with a case
  • face-to-face contact in any setting within two metres of a case for 15 minutes or more
  • having been in a closed environment (e.g. a classroom, hospital waiting room, or conveyance other than aircraft) within 2 metres of a case for 15 minutes or more
  • having been seated on an aircraft within 2 metres of a case (for economy class this would mean 2 seats in any direction including seats across the aisle, other classes would require further assessment)
  • aircraft crew exposed to a case (a risk assessment conducted by the airline is required to identify which crew should be managed as close contacts).

Further information

Useful links

Last updated 22 May 2020.