Dedicated Healthline for COVID-19 health advice and information: 0800 358 5453

Official NZ Unite against COVID website 

COVID-19 Resources

Media releases

On this page

Alert Level 1

Updated advice on wearing masks

Community-based assessment centres

Changes to hospital services

Steps for clean hands

Advice for schools

We are at Alert Level 1

New Zealand moved to Alert Level 1 at 11:59pm on Monday 8 June. At Alert Level 1, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and transmission in the New Zealand community is very low.

We will continue surveillance and testing for COVID-19.

Controls at the borders remain for those entering New Zealand, including health screening and testing for all returnees, and mandatory 14-day managed quarantine or isolation.

It's still important that we keep the basic hygiene measures, including washing your hands and coughing or sneezing into your elbow.

We should all continue to keep track of where we’ve been and who we’ve seen to assist with rapid contact tracing if it is required.

Businesses and services should help customers to keep track of where they’ve been by displaying the NZ
COVID Tracer QR code poster.

Level 1 visiting policy

The Golden Rules for everyone at Alert Level 1

  1. If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
  2. If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline and make sure you get tested.
  3. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
  4. Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
  5. If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
  6. If you’re concerned about your wellbeing or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.
  7. Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing if needed. Use the NZ COVID Tracer app as a handy way of doing this.
  8. Businesses should help people keep track of their movements by displaying the Ministry of Health QR Code for contact tracing.
  9. Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.
  10. People will have had different experiences over the last couple of months. Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself. 

Updated advice on wearing masks

The Ministry of Health has updated its advice on the use of masks as part of our ongoing response to COVID-19.

We have seen elsewhere that masks can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 when worn by people where there are cases of community transmission.

We should all now prepare to use masks before there may be a need to use them. The Ministry of Health now recommends that you add masks to your emergency kit. You should have enough masks for everyone who usually lives in your household.

Click here for information and advice on masks

Community-based assessment centres

Hawke's Bay District Health Board has established COVID-19 community-based testing centres (CBACs) in Napier and Hastings. Swabbing centres are also established in Flaxmere, Camberley, Central Hawke's Bay and Wairoa.

When and how to use a community-based assessment centre: 

  1. People with Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms should phone Healthline (0800 358 5453) or their GP first.
  2. The Healthline advisor or GP will confirm if someone requires assessment and testing for COVID-19 at a CBAC
  3. If the GP or Healthline think they need testing a CBAC team member will call them to make a time for them to come to the centre and be assessed.
  4. If someone is unable to get to a CBAC the GP will make alternative arrangements for testing.

The centres are not 'drop-in appointments', you must be referred by either your GP or Healthline.

Changes to hospital services

Most outpatient and pre-operation assessment clinics are restarting with a mixture of virtual and face-to-face appointments.  This means that most people who have received an appointment to an outpatient clinic have had their appointment postponed and a district health board representative will have be in touch with them.

The district health board will be putting in place as many telehealth appointments, either by video or over the phone for patients that need to be urgently assessed. 

We ask for your understanding at this time as our staff are reprioritised to where they are needed. We understand this will be a very distressing time for our patients, and we will be rescheduling all appointments as quickly as we are able. 

The changes to our services are as follows:

Emergency Department

Life-threatening injuries and medical conditions will be able to be treated at Hawke’s Bay Hospitals Emergency Department. Those people with minor injuries and medical conditions may be sent to accident and medical centres when appropriate. 

Fracture clinics

Fracture clinics are running and will continue to run throughout the different Alert levels.    

Renal Patients

Renal patients need to still attend their dialysis appointments. Please turn up as you normally would to your dialysis appointment. However, if you are unwell please phone ahead to let staff know and so they can make appropriate arrangements. 

Maternity patients

All maternity services are available, please liaise with your LMC or DHB-community midwife as your first point of contact for information. Most visits or consultations will be 'virtual' by phone, or if a face-to-face visit is required the 2 metre distance rule will be followed where possible and your midwife will be wearing a mask.

Please read our 28 April update here

Planned surgery – electives

Only those electives that are non-deferrable will go ahead during Level 3. Other planned surgeries have been postponed and rescheduled. 

Urgent (life-threatening) acute surgery

Will continue as normal during any Alert level.

Cancer patients

Those patients receiving chemotherapy will continue to do so as planned. Please come to your appointments as they are scheduled.  If you are unwell please phone ahead to let staff know so they can make appropriate arrangements. All treatments for chemotherapy in Villa 6 are proceeding as scheduled with the patients.

Many outpatient clinics with the oncology, haematology and radiation oncology consultants, have been changed to phone consultations. Patients will receive an appointment card in the post identifying the date and time of their appointment, as usual.  Patients will be called the day before their appointment to remind them it is a phone consultation and they do not need to attend Villa 6. 


All appointments were postponed during Alert Level 4. A return to elective schedules have commenced during Alert Level 3, with urgent cases a priority. You will be contacted by a district health board representative if you had an appointment already scheduled. 


Radiology is operating a reduced service undertaking acute, urgent and some routine imaging. A Hawke's Bay Hospital representative will be in touch with you to arrange your appointment.

Please note some examinations are being performed by local private providers and you may be requested to attend other sites. (Note: there is no cost to the patient if the DHB refers you to a local private provider.) 

There is no walk-in service for community plain film x-rays during Alert Level 3 - all requests MUST be sent to radiology and a DHB representative will be in touch with you to arrange your appointment.


Dental Outpatients: Urgent care only by referral (normal hospital level criteria applies).

Those who have had appointments postponed will be contacted when services resume and treatment can be provided.

Emergency dental care is available at some dental practices.  

Cardiology, Respiratory. Neurology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology and Diabetes

All appointments other than those needing acute care were postponed and are being rescheduled as soon as the DHB is able. A Hawke's Bay Hospital representative will be in touch with you if you have an appointment already scheduled. In some instances you may be offered a phone consultation with a health care provider.

Dermatology Outpatient Services - Villa 6 and Napier Health

From week beginning 4 May, the medical and surgical dermatology services are recommencing outpatient clinics and interventions for skin cancers.  All patients will be screened (temperature checked) prior to entering.

Napier Health Outpatients

Mixture of virtual and telephone consultations. 

Steps for clean hands

  1. Wet your hands under clean running water. Use warm water if available.
  2. Put soap on your hands and wash for 20 seconds. Liquid soap is best.
  3. Rub hands together until the soap makes bubbles.
  4. Rub on both sides of both hands...
  5. and in between fingers and thumbs ...
  6. and round and round both hands.
  7. Rinse all the soap off under clean running water. Use warm water if available.
  8. Dry your hands all over for 20 seconds. Using a paper towel is best (or, if at home, a clean dry towel).

Advice for schools

For current advice for schools, please see this Ministry of Education webpage