Protecting yourself and others from COVID-19

There are simple ways to protect yourself and others, and prevent future spread of COVID-19.

Page last updated: 14 August 2020

The information on this page applies to everyone, including vulnerable people and those at higher risk of getting COVID-19 . 

On this page:

Alert Levels 2 and 3

Until 11.59 pm Wednesday 26 August the Auckland region (Auckland Council area) is at Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2. Find out more from the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

Stay home if you’re unwell

Play it safe. Stay home if you’re feeling unwell. Don’t go to work, and keep unwell children home from school or early childhood education. 

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested. 

See information about the common COVID-19 symptoms and who to contact to talk about whether you need a test.

Use basic hygiene

Basic hygiene measures include: good hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, avoid touching your face, and clean surfaces.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds) and dry thoroughly. Use an alcohol-based sanitiser and rub hands together if soap and water is unavailable.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or cover your mouth and nose with tissues. Put them in a bin immediately.
  • Avoid touching your face, including your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean. Surfaces may have infectious droplets.
  • Clean surfaces regularly. This includes items frequently touch like door handles and phones.

Keep a record of where you have been

If cases of COVID-19 are confirmed, we need to stop the spread. Keeping a record of your movements will help the Ministry of Health to do contact tracing quickly and efficiently. 

It is recommended you keep a record of where you have been, when you were there and who you were with.

The Ministry of Health has created a tracing app — NZ COVID Tracer which you can download for free in the Apple App Store or Google Play. We encourage people to use the app and businesses to display QR codes, as it is an easy way for people to track their movements.

You can also keep track of your movements in a number of others ways including; keeping a list in a safe place, keeping a diary, noting in your phone calendar, using another app to record your movements, or taking time-stamped photos of where you have been.

Find our more about the NZ COVID Tracer app.


There is currently no vaccine available for COVID-19. This is a new virus and researchers are working hard to develop one.

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