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NZ has now transitioned to it's Phase 3 response to Omicron.

Phase 3 Highlights

Under the new rules;

Getting tested for COVID-19

You should only get a COVID-19 test if:

  • you have symptoms, or
  • you are a Household Contact.
At Phase 3, PCR tests will be used for people who need it most, and rapid antigen tests (RATs) will become more widely available. When you go for a test, the testing centre will let you know which test — RATs or PCR is best for you.

Positive RAT results do not need to be confirmed with a PCR test unless advised.

COVID-19 symptoms

Common symptoms of COVID-19 are like those found with illnesses such as a cold or influenza. You may have one or more of the following:

  • new or worsening cough
  • sneezing and runny nose
  • fever
  • temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath

Less common symptoms of COVID-19 may include diarrhoea, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, malaise, chest pain, abdominal pain, joint pain or confusion/irritability. These almost always occur with one or more of the common symptoms.

Symptoms tend to arise around two to five days after a person has been infected but can take up to 14 days to show. The virus can be passed onto others before they know they have it – from up to two days before symptoms develop.

If you test positive for COVID-19

If you test positive for COVID-19, you will need to isolate for 10 days.

You will be sent a link to complete an online form, which will help identify locations you have visited and people you have come into close contact with.

If you do not have access to a mobile, you will be contacted by a contact tracer, or a primary care, Māori, iwi or Pacific health provider.

You can leave isolation after 10 days —  you do not need a negative test.

Key Changes

These are some of the key changes from Phase 2;

  • Cases will be identified via a positive PCR or rapid antigen test (RAT) and will need to isolate for 10 days.
  • Household contacts of cases will immediately self-isolate for 10 days at the same time the positive household case is confirmed. They need to get a RAT on day 3 and 10.
  • Close Contacts are no longer required to self-isolate, but do need to monitor for symptoms for 10 days and get tested if they become symptomatic.
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