Tairāwhiti is at alert level 1

At Alert Level 1 we all need to be ready in case COVID-19 reappears in our community.

Health Services

Health services are generally back to normal at level 1. Some consultations will continue to be held over the phone or via video. If you have an appointment or surgery at with your GP or at Gisborne Hospital presume it is going ahead unless you are contacted.  

If you are sick, particularly with cough or cold symptoms, loss of taste or smell, phone first before going to your GP Practice, Gisborne Hospital or other health provider.  


When you should see your GP:

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms including a runny nose, cough or loss of smell and taste, you must stay home and call your GP. They may refer you for a COVID-19 test.

This is important if you have recently travelled from an area at a higher alert level than Tairāwhiti. Even if you only have very mild symptoms, it is vital to be tested and not expose others. 

Please continue physical distancing of at least 1 – 2 metres. Continue to wash your hands regularly and other good hygiene habits. Weari a facecovering in public if there is a chance you maybe infectious.


Testing for COVID-19

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 contact your GP or call Healthline 0800611 116 for advice.

COVID-19 related consultations and swabs are free. Your GP will arrange for you to be tested at the medical centre.

Visitors to Gisborne should call Three Rivers Medical on 0508 374 8377

Visitors to the East Coast should call 06 864 6803


COVID-19 Testing for travellers leaving New Zealand

Some countries require travellers to confirm a negative COVID-19 test before they leave New Zealand. You can check the requirements of the country you are travelling to, by contacting their local High Commission, Embassy or Consulate in New Zealand. 

If you do need a COVID-19 test prior to departure,  please contact your GP Practice or Three Rivers Medical for this service.

They will tell you how much it costs and how to pay. Book a test once your travel plans are confirmed. The test needs to be taken as close as possible to when you will be travelling. It usually takes 48 hours for test results to be available, but this can vary. Please ensure you don’t leave it too late, especially around the weekend. If your travel plans change to a later day than expected, a re-test and negative result may be required.

Please note the Emergency Department at Gisborne Hospital does not provide COVID-19 swabs for people travelling from New Zealand. 

For more COVID-19 advice for people travelling, see the Ministry of Health's website. 

 Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is key to any COVID-19 response in Tairāwhiti. Could you easily remember everywhere you have been over the last 14 days? Most people couldn’t. It is important to use a tool that can help you. Download NZ COVID Tracer (external link) to create a digital diary of places you visit by scanning the official QR codes. The tracker will help contact tracers to isolate anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 quickly. 
Businesses should have a QR code displayed so customers can be traced quickly if required. Get it here. (external link).


Visiting Gisborne Hospital

Visiting hours are 2pm to 8pm.

You are reminded that people in the hospital are at their most vulnerable. While visitor support is essential, so is the need to minimise risk to all patients and staff. 

Please coordinate visiting with whānau and friends wherever possible.

If you are feeling unwell or have a runny nose or cough, please contact your GP do not visit anyone in Gisborne Hospital. 


Maternity support

Under level 1 you can have more than one support person during labour, birth and your postnatal stay.
During your postnatal stay you may have visitors between 2-8pm.

If you are feeling unwell or have a runny nose or cough, please contact your GP do not visit anyone in Gisborne Hospital.  


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.

Tairāwhiti has a broad range of local services to support your mental, physical and emotional health.

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. 

Visit our COVID-19 Support Directory to find out more about local support services available. 


  • 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 

Updates, resources and more information:

Hauora Tairāwhiti Media Releases

NZ Government COVID-19 homepage (external link)

COVID-19 testing numbers - Ministry of Health (external link)

Gisborne District Council COVID-19 Information (external link) 

Tairāwhiti Response and Recovery Plan Rau Tipu Rau Ora (external link)

Ministry of Health resources for health professionals (external link)

Putting on and removing PPE - PDF 

Current COVID-19 case definition (external link)

NZ COVID-19 Alert levels and what they mean (external link)


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