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Greater Wellington
COVID-19 Hub

Isolating - the basics

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 has to isolate for 7 days from when their symptoms started or their test date, whichever came first.

Find out more about Testing and isolation on the Unite against COVID-19 website.

Check out this handy calculator to figure out when you can stop isolating.

If you have COVID-19 and still have symptoms on day 7 you need to continue isolating until 24 hours after symptoms clear up.

If you have already had COVID-19 and someone you live with tests positive within 3 months of your recovery, you do not need to isolate again. 

Isolating at home means you need to stay on your property as much as possible and take whatever measures you can to reduce the risk to the rest of your household.

Here are some handy tips and tools for preparing your household to isolate. You can also download this household plan to fill in.

How to isolate (taratahi) at home

Most of us know what it's like to have to recover from a cold or flu, and for many people recovering from COVID-19 will be a similar experience.

Anyone who tests positive needs to stay home for their isolation period of 7 full days. This means doing as much as possible to prevent the virus spreading to others in your household or neighbourhood.

Download these handy tips on managing symptoms and watch this video for more tips on how to isolate safely.


What happens next

We are working with a wide range of partners to ensure people have the health and manaaki support they need to isolate and recover safely.

If you test positive for COVID-19:

  • you need to record your result at You can also now report a result on behalf of someone else aged 5 and over through your My Covid Record.
  • if you have difficulty reporting your result online you can call 0800 222 478. 
  • once your result has been recorded, you will receive a text message with a link to a simple online form.
  • it takes 5-10 minutes to provide details on how you're feeling, where you have been and what support you and your household might need
  • if you indicate you need extra support you will then be connected with local support teams who will contact you.

If at any time you or a family member becomes very unwell, has difficulty breathing or feels unsafe, call 111 immediately.

How to get support while isolating

For your health

For many people, COVID-19 will feel like a mild to heavy cold and it's best to treat it that way.

  • Rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Take remedies or medication to help soothe your symptoms.

Here are some handy tips for looking after yourself at home.

If you are concerned about your symptoms or your health:

  • From 8am-5pm: Call your doctor, nurse or iwi health provider
  • After hours: Call Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453

If at any time you or a family member becomes very unwell, has difficulty breathing or feels unsafe, call 111 immediately.

For manaaki or welfare

If you are isolating and need other support such as:

  • money to pay for urgent and essential costs, like food, medicine and some bills
  • support from community groups, iwi and Pacific groups in your area, food or supplies delivered to you.

Call the COVID-19 welfare line 7 days a week on 0800 512 337

Anyone can request help — you do not need to be getting a benefit.

Or contact your local support teams:

  • Kāpiti Coast: 0800 888 683
  • Porirua: 0800 842 547
  • Wellington City: 0800 450977
  • Hutt Valley: 0800 HUTT CARE or email

If you have a disability and need help to ensure in-home care continues you should call your provider first. If you do not have a provider or are unsure, call the 2DHB COVID-19 Response Disability team.

Managing symptoms

Everyone will have different experiences of COVID-19, but most people will have mild to moderate symptoms. It's important you do what you can to comfortably and safely recover at home.

It's a good idea to make sure you have access to extra supplies of any medication you take regularly, as well as over the counter or effective home remedies for the most common symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose, cough or fever.

Take a look at these tips and tools for recovering at home.

If at any time you or a family member becomes very unwell, finds it hard to breathe or feels unsafe call 111 immediately.

Check out the video below or more handy videos on looking after yourself and others.


Isolating if you have had COVID-19 or recently finished isolating

If you have already had COVID-19 and someone else in your household tests positive, you may not have to isolate again.

If new symptoms develop 29 days after you initially tested positive, take a rapid antigen test. If you test positive again then you will need to isolate for another 7 full days.  

Don’t forget to record your result on

If you test positive, this will be treated as a reinfection and you must isolate for 7 days: Find out more: 


However, If you’ve had COVID-19 in the last 28 days and have symptoms again, you don’t need to take a RAT. It’s likely that your symptoms relate to your initial infection. You should stay home and recover.

If you have recently finished isolating and someone else in your household tests positive, you may not have to isolate again.

Keep an eye out for symptoms. Stay home and take a test if they develop.