Protecting yourself and others from COVID-19

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

Last updated:4 February 2021

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

On this page:

What to do at each Alert Level

Information on what public health actions to follow at each Alert Level.
  1 2 3 4
Good hand hygiene and cough etiquette  Yes Yes Yes Yes
Regular cleaning of high touch surfaces Yes Yes Yes Yes
Review household and community preparations for emergencies and learn about what masks to wear and learn how to put them on Yes Yes Yes Yes
Avoid others when sick Yes Yes Yes Yes
Call your health professional or Healthline to discuss testing if anyone has respiratory symptoms Yes Yes Yes Yes
Physical distancing of 2m outside of bubbles No Where practical Where possible but maintaining access to essential services

In all situations where interacting outside of home and work bubble (for essential workers)

Community use of masks and face coverings *


In Auckland and on domestic flights
On public transport if with people outside your bubble  Highly recommended in closed spaces ** where physical distancing is not always possible and contact with other people outside your bubble may occur (except where exemptions occur) Highly recommended in closed spaces where physical distancing is not always possible and contact with other people outside your bubble may occur (except where exemptions occur)
Reduce your bubble size No Limit gatherings to 100 Follow Alert Level 3 directions on bubbles Follow Alert Level 4 directions on bubbles

* For Healthcare setting please refer to Infection Prevent and Control Guidelines Ministry of Health or your workplace lnfection Prevention and Control procedures.
** Examples of closed spaces include public transport (buses, taxis, rideshare) corridors of public buildings, supermarkets and pharmacies.

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 out more about the NZ COVID Tracer app.

Back to top