COVID-19: Self-isolation, managed isolation/quarantine

Guidance on self-isolation/managed isolation/quarantine

Last updated: 22 August 2021

On this page:

What does self-isolation, managed isolation/quarantine mean?

  • Self-isolation involves isolating away from other members of your household (for example, have no physical contact, minimise time in shared spaces and do not share items such as cutlery and linen), whilst you remain in your own home.
  • Managed isolation/quarantine involves staying at a Managed Isolation and Quarantine Facility (MIQF)
  • Your local public health official will determine whether you need to go into self-isolation, managed isolation/quarantine. This may be a legal obligation if the Medical Officer of Health issues an Order to you to do so under section 70 of Health Act 1956. This may be monitored and can be enforced by a Medical Officer of Health
  • If you have been defined as a Close Contact you have had exposure to a confirmed case and will be required to go into self-isolation, managed isolation/quarantine.

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

Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 are known as cases and will be directly managed by a local public health unit (who are part of our District Health Boards). Please note if you are a case, you’ll receive instructions and advice directly from a public health official which is specific to your individual situation and according to your needs.

Self-isolating at home

You should self-isolate for at least 14 days since your last contact or exposure to the confirmed case and until you are told you no longer need to do so by a public health official.

What it means to self-isolate at home:

  • You should not leave the house for any reason while you are awaiting a test result or are self-isolating, until you receive a negative test result or until you’re cleared by public health staff.
  • You cannot get vaccinated whilst you are self-isolating.  If you have a vaccine appointment scheduled either ring the vaccine booking line or go online to change your vaccination booking.
  • You should not go the pharmacy, supermarket or make any other stops in public while you are self-isolating.
  • You should not go to work or school. If you are unable to work from home during this time, your employer (or you, if you are self-employed) may be able to apply for leave support to help support you. For more information visit the Work and Income website.
  • You should maintain a 2-metre distance from your household members and should not share a bed or bedroom with any member of your household
  • It is important that you do not use public transport, taxis or similar transport methods
  • You should not have visitors in your home (including tradespeople)
  • Where possible, ask friends or family to shop for you. If this is not 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.
  • Minimise the time you spend in shared spaces such as bathrooms, kitchens and sitting rooms as much as possible and keep shared spaces well ventilated
  • If you need medical assistance, call ahead to your health provider and tell them you are a Close Contact. Clean your hands with hand sanitiser and put on a face mask before you enter any healthcare facility.

If you are a Close Contact and have, or later develop, any COVID-19 symptoms the people in your immediate household should stay at home until you receive a negative test result; public health officials will provide you with further advice. 

For more information about what staying at home means, see Staying at home.


Managed isolation/quarantine at a Managed Isolation and Quarantine Facility (MIQF)

Close Contacts should isolate for at least 14 days since their last contact or exposure to the confirmed case and until they are told they no longer need to do so by a public health official. More information is available on the Managed Isolation and Quarantine website.

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