Questions and answers on NZ COVID Tracer

Answers to common queries about the NZ COVID Tracer mobile app.

On this page:


Does the app replace manual contact tracing?

The more New Zealanders who download and use NZ COVID Tracer, the more effective it will be. The information we receive from the app will enable faster contact tracing and make it easier to get in touch with people when we need to.

However, technologies like NZ COVID Tracer are just one part of contact tracing and are designed to support rather than replace existing contact tracing processes.

Public health units (PHUs) and the National Close Contact Service (NCCS) will continue to lead contact tracing in New Zealand. PHUs have tripled their capacity and can now deal with up to 185 cases a day, while the NCCS now has more than 200 staff who can make up to 10,000 phone calls to close contacts.


Do I have to use the app?

NZ COVID Tracer is entirely voluntary, but using it can help protect your friends, whānau and community by enabling faster contact tracing.

What’s important is to keep a record of where you’ve been and people you’ve seen in case a contact tracer needs to get in touch. You can also make sure we have your current contact information by registering your details through the web app at tracing.covid19.govt.nz.


How do I sign in my children with the app?

You only need to sign into a location once, even if you have your children with you or someone else under your care.

If we need to get in touch for contact tracing, we will ask about your family household and if anyone was with you at the places you have visited.


Do I need to sign a register if I use the app?

In addition to signing in with NZ COVID Tracer, you should continue to sign in to any contact tracing register maintained by the businesses or other locations that you visit. 

The initial focus of NZ COVID Tracer is on helping New Zealanders keep track of the places they have been. It does not, at this time, remove the need for businesses to keep good contact tracing records where required by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level 2) Order. 


How is my privacy protected? 

The Ministry of Health has consulted with the Privacy Commissioner to ensure NZ COVID Tracer protects your privacy. NZ COVID Tracer has also been through independent security testing.

Please see Privacy and security for further information.


What are the hardware/system requirements?

NZ COVID Tracer is compatible with most mobile operating systems and devices. In the current release of NZ COVID Tracer, Android devices need to have Android 7.0 or later while Apple devices need iOS 12 or later. 

If you have an older operating system, you may be able to update it to a more recent version. For information on how to update your phone’s operating system, please refer to the guidance for Android users or Apple users as applicable.

Future updates to NZ COVID Tracer will include support for older devices and systems. In the interim, if you don’t have a compatible mobile device or operating system, it’s a good idea to keep a manual record of the people you’ve seen and the places you’ve been in case it is needed for contact tracing.

You can also make sure we have your current contact information by registering your details through the web app at tracing.covid19.govt.nz.


What languages are supported?

NZ COVID Tracer is currently available in English only. Future updates will include support for te reo Māori, Chinese and Pacific languages.


Why do I need a long/complex password?

To ensure NZ COVID Tracer is secure, the Ministry of Health has followed the password standards set out in the New Zealand Information Security Manual, which provides guidance on information assurance and information systems security. 

If you'd like to know more about the Manual, visit nzism.gcsb.govt.nz


Can I change my email address after I register? 

In the current version of NZ COVID Tracer, it is not possible to change your email address after registering the app. 

Future updates to NZ COVID Tracer may include the ability to update your email address. In the interim, if you change your email address after registering the app you will need to uninstall and reinstall NZ COVID Tracer. Please note this will also delete your digital diary. 


Can two people use the same email address? 

Unfortunately, it is not possible to use an email address with more than one copy of NZ COVID Tracer. This is a privacy and data security requirement.


Further questions or feedback? 

If the answer to your question isn’t on this page you can contact the NZ COVID Tracer app team.

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