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Latest news

Page last updated on Monday 8 August 2022

New Zealand stays at Orange

Following review, it was announced on Thursday 14 July 2022 that all of Aotearoa New Zealand is to stay in the COVID-19 Orange traffic light setting.

However, the current increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations signals the beginning of a second wave of Omicron. The Government has announced it is rolling out additional measures to help tackle this second wave, and record levels of flu, to ease pressure on the health system.

For more information on the announcement, see:

Government's latest COVID-19 announcement 14 July 2022

Travel to Aotearoa

From 31 July 2022, New Zealand's international border is now open to all visitors from anywhere in the world. The maritime border is also open to all cruise ships, specialist vessels and recreational vessels.

For more information, see the COVID-19 website.

From 21 June, you no longer need a pre-departure test to enter New Zealand.

Travellers whose first international flight to New Zealand departs after 11:59pm (NZT) Monday 20 June 2022 do not need pre-departure tests. This applies to people entering New Zealand from anywhere in the world.

Most travellers still need to be vaccinated, wear a mask on-board flights and take 2 rapid antigen tests (RATs) after arriving in New Zealand.

If you transit through New Zealand, you no longer need to be vaccinated, or complete the New Zealand Traveller Declaration.

Learn more about the pre-departure test changes.

Travel from Aotearoa

Pre-departure COVID-19 test requirements may differ depending on what country you're going to.

  • Check the official website of the country you're planning to enter or pass through (transit)
  • Check with the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country you're travelling to - for a list of these, see:

Embassies | New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

For more information about the COVID-19 requirements specific to your arrival destination, see:

COVID-19 Government website

Winter wellness

This year the flu will be in our communities but many Pacific people can get a FREE flu vaccine.

  • The flu vaccine is free for all Pacific people aged 55 and older, pregnant women, young children with a history of breathing problems and anyone with asthma, diabetes, heart conditions and some other health concerns.
  • No other vaccine will protect us from the flu, only the flu vaccine will do this.
  • People can visit Aotearoa from overseas now, bringing more flu with them.
  • We are meeting in-person more giving the flu more chance to spread from person to person.
  • Visit your GP clinic, local pharmacy or community vaccination centre to get your free flu vaccine.Please note: young children must get their flu vaccination at a GP Clinic. It is still FREE for those who are eligible.

Visit www.winterwellness.nz for more information.


Talanoa with your family about who can get the flu vaccine for free and who might be due for other vaccinations. Look after your mental and spiritual health, spend time with those you love. Eat healthy food and exercise. Speak to your GP or Nurse or phone 0800 611 116 if you have questions about your health.

The flu vaccine is FREE for:

  • All Pacific people aged 55 years and older
  • Children 6 months to 4 years of age with a history of breathing problems
  • Anyone who is pregnant, has asthma, diabetes, heart conditions & some other health concerns

Visit your GP clinic, local pharmacy or community vaccination centre to get your FREE flu vaccine.Please note: Children 6 months – 4 years must get their flu vaccination at a GP Clinic. It is still FREE for those who are eligible.

If you have had COVID-19 you can get your flu vaccine when you have finished isolating and feel well again. You can get your flu vaccine at the same time as any COVID-19 vaccine.

After having COVID-19

Following a COVID-19 infection, watch for fatigue and other symptoms of Long COVID.

A common symptom experienced by those with COVID-19 infection is fatigue. While you are recovering, it can continue for weeks to months after the infection has cleared. Learn more about Long COVID.

There is no clear reason why some people feel more fatigued or tired than others, and different things contribute to tiredness and make it last a long time.

Read some tips on how to manage fatigue.

With Omicron and winter illnesses circulating in the community, remember to do these basic things to protect your aiga:  

  • Get your booster. If you have children aged 5 to 11, get them vaccinated
  • Stay vigilant, and mask up
  • Keep up healthy habits such as washing hands, physical distancing and staying home if you are sick
  • Get tested if you have symptoms or are exposed to a case.  

Visit the Unite Against COVID-19 website to find out where to get vaccinated or receive a booster if you have not done so already.

Winter is here and with it, the risk of catching COVID-19 again. 

The Ministry of Health is continuing to monitor international evidence on reinfection rates. Current evidence shows the chance of having COVID-19 again within 90 days of a first infection, especially if it is the same variant, is low but it can occasionally happen.

Ensuring you minimise your chances of catching COVID-19 again is especially important for:

  • older people
  • those with higher risk health conditions
  • people who have frequent close contact with vulnerable people.

People who become unwell with respiratory symptoms within 90 days following a COVID-19 infection but are low risk, should stay at home and recover until 24 hours after most symptoms clear up. We do not advise routinely retesting at home within this period but if someone becomes increasingly unwell they should seek advice from their doctor or Healthline.

Those more at-risk people who become unwell again within 90 days of their initial illness should seek further advice from a health practitioner. If you become unwell more than 90 days after a COVID-19 infection you should follow the same advice as for a first infection. It is important to take any respiratory illness seriously and take time to recover.

We are heading into the colder months — traditionally a time when there is also more sickness in general in the population. New Zealanders are well versed in following public health guidance — now is not the time to give up on those.

Please continue to:

  • stay at home if you are unwell
  • practise good hand hygiene
  • wear a face mask when out in public
  • maintain physical distance from others when possible.

Vaccination remains a key defence against winter ills and chills — both the COVID-19 vaccine and the influenza vaccine.

Changes to COVID-19 Protection Framework

Following review, all of New Zealand moved to the COVID-19 Orange traffic light setting at 11.59pm Wednesday 13 April 2022, with the next review in mid May. 

At Orange, you can continue to do everyday activities, but we need to protect our vulnerable communities by keeping up healthy habits.

You'll still need to isolate if you or someone you live with catches COVID-19. 

The current focus remains on managing COVID-19 safely at home. People should stay calm and go about life as normally as possible. People should continue to shop normally. You are able to visit friends and family and travel around the country.

The COVID-19 Protection Framework was simplified on Friday 25 March, 2022. The new Framework will help us manage our lives with Omicron while also lessening the impact of future outbreaks. Learn more about the changes.

At Orange, you must wear a face mask in many indoor locations, especially with large gatherings such as church services, conferences and weddings. You also need to wear face masks on most public transport and domestic flights.

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.

From the end of May, people who have genuine reasons for not being able to wear a face mask can access a new personalised exemption card

Learn more about face mask requirements at Orange settings.

As of 11.59pm 4 April, New Zealanders no longer need to use My Vaccine Pass. Vaccine mandates for all sectors except health and care workers, prison staff and border workers have been removed. Learn more about vaccine passes and certificates.

Omicron outbreak

New Zealand is now in COVID-19 Omicron Phase 3.

If you're planning to travel within New Zealand, make sure you're prepared in case you or the people you're with get sick. If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Get a test. Don't wait until you get home
  • If you need to head home and you travelled by car, you can head directly home, but plan your route and try to stop only at contactless petrol stations for fuel and supplies
  • Be prepared to isolate. If you can't drive directly home, stay somewhere where you can isolate safely for at least seven days
  • Don't use air travel, ferries or public transport and don't make overnight stops
  • Tell your accommodation provider immediately if you test positive so they can make the property safe for the next booking

Learn more about what to do if you get sick while travelling.

The best thing that people can do to be prepared is to get a booster. People who have had a booster are much less likely to require hospital care if they catch COVID-19. If it has been four months since your second shot, you can go to BookMyVaccine to make a booking. Walk-in and drive-through boosters are available from some vaccination centres. Information is available on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, get tested. Testing is free.

You can also call the dedicated COVID-19 Healthline:

For any other health concerns, call the general Healthline number on 0800 611 116. You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

People need to make sure they are prepared for a period of isolation at home in the event they catch COVID-19 or they are a close contact. Making sure you have a buddy who can deliver anything else you need while you’re isolating is a good idea. Information on how to make a plan for if you or a member of your household catches COVID-19 is available on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

You can order Rapid Antigen Tests online or go to a testing clinic. You don't need to have COVID-19 symptoms to order a Rapid Antigen Test. 

There are step-by-step instructions available in multiple languages for how to take your Rapid Antigen Test. Most Rapid Antigen Test kits generally follow the same instructions but not all. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Face masks are now widely available for free.

New Zealand Government COVID-19 response

Get the latest information about the New Zealand government's COVID-19 response.