Information for household contacts 

If you live with someone who has COVID-19 you have a higher risk of getting the virus too. It’s normal to feel worried about this, but help and support is available if you need it.

Use the information below to make sure you and those you live with know how to stay safe, what to do now, and when to get medical help. 

Close contacts

If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 but you do not live with them then you do not need to isolate.

  • Watch out for any symptoms of COVID-19, and if you feel unwell get a test.
  • After any tests stay home until you receive a negative result and you have been symptom-free for 24 hours.

   Information for close contacts   

What do you need to do?

Stay home and self-isolate for 7 days. The 7 days starts from when the person with COVID-19 tested positive or from when they first had symptoms (whichever came first). 

You will need to take a Rapid Antigen Test on Day 3 and Day 7.

If your tests are negative and you do not have any symptoms you can finish isolating on Day 8. This will be the same day as the first person who got COVID-19 in your home finishes isolating.

If you test positive it means you have COVID-19. You will need to isolate for 7 days from you when received your positive result or first noticed symptoms.  If the other people you live with get a negative test at the same time, they won’t need to restart their isolation period. Learn more about testing positive for COVID-19.

What does self-isolating mean?

While you are self-isolating:

  • You should not leave your home, except to get tested or for urgent medical attention.
  • You can exercise outdoors in your neighbourhood (but not at a swimming pool or gym) but you must physically distance from other people.
  • If you need to get medical help, phone ahead and tell them you are a household contact. You cannot have visitors.
  • You will need to organise the delivery of essential items like food or medication through online services, or have a friend or family member drop these at your door. Anyone delivering items to you needs to wear a mask, distance from you and not come inside your home.

Finishing self-isolation

You can finish self-isolating on Day 8 if all your tests have been negative and you do not have symptoms.

If you have symptoms but test negative, you will need to stay home for another 2 days and then take another Rapid Antigen Test

  • If this is negative, stay home until you feel better, plus an extra 24 hours.
  • If this is positive, it means you have COVID-19. You will need to isolate for another 7 days.

If you test negative but your symptoms do not go away, it’s time to get help. Call Healthline for free anytime on 0800 358 5453, or contact your GP or health provider.

After you finish isolating, be careful for a few more days. Keep a close eye on symptoms, and avoid people who are more vulnerable, such as elderly people, babies, pregnant people, or anyone with underlying health conditions.

Non-household close contacts

You may be told that you are a close contact by someone you know who has tested positive for COVID-19, your employer, or your education provider. 

If you do not live with someone who has COVID-19 and you do not have symptoms you do not need to self-isolate.

What you need to do
  • Self-monitor for symptoms for ten days.
  • If you start to feel unwell, get a test as soon as possible. You then need to stay home until you receive a negative result and have been symptom free for at least 24 hours. Find your nearest testing centre or order a test online
  • COVID-19 symptoms include:
    • A new or worsening cough
    • Fever 
    • Sneezing or a runny nose
    • Loss of smell or altered sense of taste 
    • Diarrhoea 
    • Sore or scratchy throat 
    • Headache
    • Muscle pain or body aches
    • Nausea and vomiting 
    • Shortness of breath  
Other ways to stay safe

If you have been identified as a close contact you may choose to change your behaviour based on personal circumstances. This could include:

  • working from home, or in a separate bubble to others
  • staying away from family or friends that are at higher risk of severe illness if they get COVID-19 (e.g. people who are pregnant, are older, or who have underlying health conditions)
  • only seeing others outdoors
  • staying home or reducing the amount of time you spend with others
Close contact exemption scheme

Some people who are household close contacts can receive an exemption from their employer to return to work early.

You will need to work in a critical service, undertake daily testing, and not have any symptoms. When you are not at work, you will need to continue self-isolating. 

Your employer will let you know if you are eligible to return to work early, and provide instructions on how to do this safely.

Learn more about the close contact exemption scheme

Help and support

Support is available at every stage of your home isolation journey.

If you start to feel worse

Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (free to call, 24 hours a day).

If you have questions

Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (free to call, 24 hours a day).

If you feel that you are not coping

If you feel you are not coping, it is important to talk with a health professional. There are helplines available that offer support, information and help. All services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Need to Talk? — free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
  • Youthline — call 0800 376 633, free text 234
  • What's Up? — call 0800 942 8787 — a safe place for tamariki and rangatahi to talk.
  • Lifeline — 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline — 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
  • Depression and Anxiety Helpline — 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions.
  • For Pacific communities, mental health support is available by calling 0800 Ola Lelei – 0800 652 535.
Support packages

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

If you/someone you live with is not safe
  • Women’s Refuge — call 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE) for 24-hour service advocacy and accommodation for women and their children experiencing family violence.
  • Shine domestic abuse services — free call 0508 744 633 (9am to 11pm) if you are experiencing domestic abuse, or want to know how to help someone else.
  • Call Oranga Tamariki on 0508 326 459 if a child or young person is unsafe, not being cared for, or separated from their parents or caregivers.
In an emergency - call 111

If you or a family member becomes very unwell or has difficulty breathing, immediately call an ambulance on 111.