COVID-19 Information

It is recommended that you take a rapid antigen test (RAT) if you have cold, flu or any other COVID-19 symptoms. If your test is positive, it is recommended you isolate for 5 days, even if you only have mild symptoms. You should report your result in My Health Record so you can be connected with help and support if needed.

Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora has more information about COVID-19 online.

Isolation and household contacts

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, it’s recommended you isolate for 5 days, even if you only have mild symptoms, starting at Day 0, which is the day your symptoms started or when you tested positive, whichever came first. This means you should not go to work or school. You should discuss your return to work with your employer or your child’s return to school with their school principal, as your employer or your school may require
additional precautions.

From 4 March 2024, recommended COVID-19 testing advice for household contacts is changing.

If you are a household contact of a positive COVID-19 case and you do not have COVID-19 symptoms, you are no longer recommended to test daily with a rapid antigen test (RAT) for 5 days following a positive COVID-19 case in the household.

If you are a household contact of a positive COVID-19 case and you develop one or more COVID-19 symptoms, you are recommended to stay at home and test for COVID-19 using a RAT.  If you test negative but your COVID-19 symptoms persist, continue to stay at home and take another RAT test in 24 and 48 hours.

If at any point you test positive for COVID-19, it is recommended that you isolate for at least 5 days, even if you only have mild symptoms, starting at Day 0.

This change in advice for household contacts aligns with broader public health guidance that advises RAT testing is generally not recommended when a person does not have any COVID-19 symptoms.

When a person is symptomatic, the RAT result is more reliable.   

What happens after I’ve completed my recommended isolation period?

If your symptoms have resolved and you feel well, you can return to your normal activities. 

We recommend you wear a mask if you need to visit a healthcare facility or an aged residential care facility, or you have contact with anyone at risk of getting seriously unwell with COVID-19 up until 10 days after your symptoms started or you tested positive. This is because some people are infectious for up to 10 days.

If you still feel unwell, we recommend you stay home until you have recovered. If you do need to leave the house, we recommend you wear a mask and do not visit a healthcare facility (other than to seek medical attention), or an aged residential care facility, or have contact with anyone at risk of getting seriously unwell with COVID-19.

You don’t need to do another RAT after testing positive. But if you are concerned you may still be infectious after isolating for 5 days, testing negative with a RAT provides a good indication that you are unlikely to be infectious. You may still wish to wear a mask if you have contact with someone at risk of serious illness and some facilities may still require all visitors to wear masks.



Mask wearing remains an important way we can prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, particularly in health and disability care settings.

It is especially important to wear a face mask when visiting people who are at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell, like older people and kaumātua, babies, people living in aged residential care facilities, patients in hospital and those with other health conditions.

It’s recommended you wear a face mask when visiting healthcare services.

Please respect their policy on mask wearing when visiting, as you may be asked to wear a mask in particular situations or locations within a healthcare facility to help protect those at higher risk.

Some places, such as workplaces, special events, or marae may ask people to wear a mask as a condition of entry. This will be at their discretion and no longer a Government requirement. People are encouraged to respect those who continue to keep wearing masks for the protection they offer against COVID-19.


Anti-viral medicines

Anti-viral medicines will be available for free to Māori and Pacific people aged 50+, everyone aged 65+ and anyone aged 50+ who has had fewer than two COVID 19 vaccinations.  In addition, anyone with three high-risk conditions is eligible for free anti-viral medicines. To learn more about eligibility criteria click here

Anti-viral medicines can be dispensed so far by pharmacies, doctors, nurse practitioners and hauora providers.


Additional COVID-19 support:

Local Support

Takatu Hub is the local Tairawhiti support hub for COVID and wellness advice. Call Takatu Hub weekdays between 9am and 4pm on 0800 825288.

National Support
If your COVID-19 symptoms get worse, or you are concerned about someone you care for, you can call Healthline on 0800 611 116 anytime for free health advice and information. If it’s an emergency, call 111.

For further advice visit the COVID-19 Health Hub ( or call the COVID Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

The dedicated Disability Helpline (0800 11 12 13 or text 8988) has been supporting members of the disability community with testing, face mask exemptions and managing COVID at home. The helpline team can also help with:
• any general health concerns
• if a support worker/carer is unavailable or hasn’t arrived
• connecting you with information and support you need.

If you need communication assistance, you can access using the NZ Relay Service ( A person with experience or knowledge of disability will answer your call from 8am – 8pm. After 8pm, calls are answered by a trained member of the Healthline


Testing for COVID-19 

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 please get tested.  Click here for more information about getting tested, days and hours the collection sites are operating.


Getting Vaccinated

For details on where and when you can get vaccinated and the progress of the vaccination programme in Tairāwhiti, click here.

You can find out more about the COVID-19 Protection Framework on the Unite Against COVID-19 website



All remaining Government vaccine mandates will end. The last workforce with a Government vaccine mandate is health and disability workers. This ended on 11:59pm, 26 September 2022. Some employers may still require workers to be vaccinated due to their responsibilities under health and safety legislation.


International travel

Vaccination and testing requirements for all travellers arriving into New Zealand will also end, including air crew, from 11:59pm, 12 September 2022. People arriving in New Zealand from overseas will continue to receive free RATs at the airport and will be encouraged to test on day 0/1 and 5/6.



If you need non-urgent health advice you can call 0800 TAKATU to talk to local Tairāwhiti health professionals. Available from 9am-4pm Monday to Friday. 


Need support?

Change and uncertainty can be tough to navigate, but it's important to seek help if you're struggling.

Feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious is common during periods of change. Recognising these emotions is an important step in finding the right help for you.

Takatu Hub is the local Tairawhiti support hub for COVID and wellness advice. Call Takatu Hub weekdays between 9am and 4pm on 0800 825288.

If you are seriously concerned about someone's immediate safety, call 111 or take them to the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) at your nearest hospital. 


  • Takatu Hub: 0800 825288
  • Need To Talk? Call or text free 1737
  • The Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757
  • Healthline: 0800 611 116
  • Lifeline: 0800 543 354
  • Samaritans: 0800 726 666
  • Youthline: 0800 376 633
  • Alcohol Drug Helpline: 0800 787 797
  • Elder Abuse Helpline: 0800 32 668 65 


Frequently Asked Questions:

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions we have heard from our community here


Visiting Gisborne Hospital:

Click here to find out information on visiting the Gisborne Hospital. Click here for visiting hours.