Understanding the self-isolation rules is an important part of limiting the spread of COVID-19.
If you have been exposed to the virus it may take up to two weeks for the symptoms to become apparent, or if you are displaying symptoms you need to be cautious and consider others until test results are confirmed.
In New Zealand, these are the basic self-isolation rules:
- Avoid face-to-face contact with other people. Current advice is to stand at least a metre away from another person and limit the contact to no more than 15 minutes.
- Avoid workplaces, schools, universities, churches, social and sports gatherings or anywhere there are concentrations of people like shopping malls, cinemas, concerts and supermarkets.
- If you are self-isolating at home with other people who have had no contact with the virus or are not displaying symptoms you need to observe the 1 metre/15 minute rule of contact with them too. The Ministry of Health advises that you should not share drinking glasses, cups, eating and cooking utensils, crockery, towels, pillows and other bedding. After using you should wash items thoroughly with soap and warm water and run them through the washing machine cycle or washing machine.
- Disinfect kitchen work surfaces and items like door handles, cupboard handles, landlines, TV remotes, fridge doors, appliances like kettles, etc, frequently.
- Frequently wash hands thoroughly in warm water with soap for 20 seconds and dry them well using paper towels.
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing with your elbow.
- Do not have visitors to your home. However, it is okay for friends, family or delivery services to drop off supplies.
If you are unsure of any protocols or of your health status contact Healthline (0800 358 5453) in New Zealand, or the Coronavirus Health Information Line (1800 020 080) in Australia.
Do not seek treatment at A & E Departments without ringing first, and alert your doctor if you feel unwell but do not visit the surgery without phoning them first to discuss guidelines.