New Zealand is now well into the full Omicron surge, with case numbers having sky-rocketed over the last two weeks. The explosion in cases has come as the government loosened its strict regulations, including changes to testing and isolation, as the highly transmissible Omicron reduced the effectiveness of the controls that remained.
All of New Zealand remains at Red Alert – Omicron Phase 3. Under this setting, you should only get a COVID-19 test if you have symptoms or are a Household Contact (you live with someone who has COVID-19). Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are now the main testing method for people with COVID-19 symptoms and Household Contacts. You can now order a RAT online or over the phone, to pick up at a site near you. Positive RAT results do not need to be confirmed with a PCR test unless advised.
Request a RAT test online or call 0800 222 478 (option 3) between 8am-8pm, 7 days a week
It is important that workers who are unwell do not come into contact with other people at work. If a worker has COVID-like symptoms or has been in contact with a confirmed case, they should stay at home and not return to work until they have either recovered or have been tested and cleared from having COVID-19 and are no longer symptomatic.
Workers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 are able to return to work, without risk to others, when they’ve been cleared from isolation. From 11:59pm tonight, isolation periods are being shortened from 10 days to 7 days. Once you have recovered from COVID-19, if someone else in your household tests positive during that time you will not need to isolate again for 3 months.