COVID-19 Guidance

updated 29 June 2022

Latest updates

Carer Support and Individualised Funding will continue until 30 September 2022

As a response to COVID-19 and its challenges, changes were made so access to respite could be more flexible, including using Carer Support and Individualised Funding (IF) to pay family/whānau/āiga to provide support, including those living in the same household.

We are pleased to confirm that this approach to employing family/ whānau/āiga will continue until 30 September 2022 for those eligible for Carer Support or IF currently through the Ministry of Health Disability Support Services.

For more info, go here.

To read the announcement, go here.

Face Covering Communication Cards (exemption cards) 

People who have genuine reasons for not being able to wear a face mask can now access a personalised Mask Exemption Pass. You can show the card to transport operators, retailers and service providers. It can help make it easier to explain that a face mask is unsuitable for you.

Applying for a Mask Exemption Pass is available via the Ministry of Health (MoH). If you have an existing communication card, it remains valid. Both these new personalised exemption cards and current non-personalised cards issued by the MoH are optional as an aid to avoiding discrimination. For those affected, you will not have to go through the process of getting a new card if you do not want to, however the old cards will not have the legitimacy of the new cards. More info here.

COVID-19 resources for carers

Looking after your mental health is important, especially so during stressful times. Here are some resources from Carers NZ which you may find helpful. If you can’t find anything which fits your individual situation, do get in touch with us.

Information around Covid-19 as it relates to carers is available to read at the Ministry of Health’s website here. You can also download a word or pdf version.

wecare.kiwi – for care and support through Covid-19.

Find COVID-19 advice for isolation, testing and support in your language. 

Video: advice for parents on COVID-19 and tamariki

Caring for tamariki who have COVID-19

Support and information for disabled people.

Carers NZ free downloadable resources

Our self-care workbook for carers

Tips & Tools for getting through another lockdown day

The Covid complication.

If you’re struggling to cope.

All of New Zealand is at Orange

All of Aotearoa New Zealand is at Orange. Some key points:

  • At Orange, you can continue to do everyday activities, but we need to protect our vulnerable communities.
  • You must wear a face mask in many indoor locations. You do not need to wear a face mask outdoors.
  • You can visit cafes and bars, attend gatherings and events, and go to the hairdresser and gym. There are no capacity limits or distancing requirements at venues.
  • Workplaces and schools can open.
  • To protect yourself, your whānau and your community, keep up healthy habits.

For more info at Orange.

How long do I need to isolate for?

Here’s an isolation timeline checker you can use to see how long you and your household need to isolate for.

16 and 17 year olds can now get their booster

If you are 16-17 years old, you can get your booster 6 months after your second dose. If you are 18 or over you can get your booster 3 months after your second dose.

Guidance for testing and isolation in community residential care home facilities 

Guidance includes information for staff, the disabled people they support, and visitors. More info here.

Home delivery of rapid antigen tests for disabled and/or immunocompromised people

If you have mobility or other accessibility challenges and/or are immunocompromised and are unable to leave your home to get to a RAT collection site, you can now arrange to have RATs delivered to you. Phone 0800 222 478 and select option 3. A local provider will work with you make sure you have access to RATs. More info here.

Long Covid

Most people with COVID-19 recover completely after 2 – 6 weeks, and many others make a full recovery within 12 weeks.  If symptoms linger, make sure you contact your general practice to discuss next steps in your care. Emerging information and evidence on the long-term health impacts of COVID-19 (long COVID) is continuing. More here.

Changes to the Traffic Light system

Some key points

  • There is no requirement to scan in or for a business to display a QR code poster or have mandatory record keeping
  • Some government vaccine mandates for workers have been removed. Workers still covered by a government vaccine mandate include health and disability sector workers, prison staff, border and MIQ workers. Business will be able to voluntarily introduce workforce vaccination requirements if appropriate to the workforce

For more info: traffic light settings

Changes to My Vaccine Pass

There is no longer a requirement to use my Vaccine Pass. Businesses will still be able to use this system if they would like too.

Info on face masks at Orange

As a general rule, wear a face mask when indoors. Exceptions include your home, your place of work (if it is not public facing), at a gathering when you have exclusive use of the venue or defined space, and when you are seated at a cafe, bar or restaurant to eat and drink. For further info: face masks.

Is your household isolating?

Need to let people know that your household is self-isolating? Here’s a useful poster from the Ministry of Health that you can download here.

Research on the effects of long Covid is still in its early stages. Here’s some information about what it is, and how to avoid it.

Order a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) online or call 0800 222 478 (choose option 3) between 8am-8pm, 7 days a week.

Remember to report a positive RAT result.

The Ministry of Health has released a self-isolation calculator

The Student Volunteer Army Grocery Delivery Service is available nationwide to people who are self-isolating or who have no other way to access food. To order:

Personal stories from our carer community about getting vaccinated

Read David’s story.

Read Lucas’s story

Booster doses

The interval between the second dose and the booster dose has been reduced to 3 months. The advice from the COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group is that shortening the period between the second and booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine is an appropriate and pragmatic step and is in line with what other countries are doing. Data is emerging that a booster dose with Pfizer provides better protection than a 2-dose course against the Omicron variant and reduces the chance of more serious infections. Do note that if you test positive for COVID-19, it is recommended you wait 3 months before receiving your vaccination.

If you’re over 18 and eligible, you can book your booster here.

Vaccination info for carers.

General COVID-19 guidelines for carers.

Vaccination Orders

Information on the COVID-19 Vaccination Orders: COVID-19: Mandatory vaccinations | Ministry of Health NZ

Questions can be sent to healthorders@health.govt.nz

For detailed information, go here

General Covid-19 information for carers

Detailed COVID-19 info for carers here.