COVID-19: Staying at home

Guidance on staying at home.

Last updated 24 February 2022

On this page:


What does staying at home mean?

Staying at home is defined as staying within your home or residence. Public health officials ask you to stay at home if you are identified as:

  • a Household member of a Case. Please see the advice at COVID-19: Information for Close Contacts
  • a household member of a Close Contact when either they, or you, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • a member of the general public who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms

If you are a Close Contact but are not experiencing any symptoms, you do not need to stay at home but you should monitor your health for 10 days. If you later develop COVID-19 symptoms, you should stay at home and ring Healthline for advice and information about testing.

Note for those people who have tested positive for COVID-19

If you have COVID-19 (and are a COVID-19 case) you can find more information on this page.


What to do when staying at home

If you have been advised to stay at home after a test, you should do so until you receive a negative test result.

If someone in your household or bubble is a Close Contact and they develop symptoms, it is recommended that you (regardless of whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated) stay at home until the Close Contact returns a negative test (taken after their symptoms started). 

If you develop symptoms, you should get a test and stay at home (or in your current accommodation) until you receive a negative test result and until 24 hours after your symptoms resolve.

What it means to stay at home:

  • If you have symptoms, stay away from your household members if possible.
  • You should not go to work or school. If you are unable to work from home while awaiting COVID-19 test results, a short-term payment may be available to your employer (or you, if you are self-employed) to help support you. For more information visit the Work and Income website.
  • It is important that you do not use public transport, taxis or similar transport methods.
  • You should not have any visitors in your home (including tradespeople).
  • Where possible, ask friends or family to shop for you. If this isn’t possible, order supplies online. Make sure any deliveries are left outside your home for you to collect. If you need assistance, the Ministry of Social Development has information about where you can go for services and support, what you can get help with, and contact information. Visit the Ministry of Social Development website.
  • If you need medical assistance, call ahead to your health provider. Clean your hands with hand sanitiser and put on a face mask before you enter any health care facility.
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