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The NZ Government Just Announced It's Shortening the COVID-19 Isolation Period to a Week

But don't go running out your front door just yet — the new rules don't come into effect until midnight on Friday.
By Sarah Templeton
March 09, 2022
By Sarah Templeton
March 09, 2022

As New Zealand's rampant Omicron outbreak continues to spread and new daily records of case numbers continue to stack up, the rules around isolation seem to be changing at the same speed.

On Wednesday, March 9, the Government announced a huge new one: those isolating with COVID-19 (including household contacts) will only need to isolate for seven days, rather than the previous 10-day minimum.

The new rule comes into effect from 11:59pm on Friday, March 11.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said in a press conference on Wednesday the change has become necessary due to the wider impact the current 10 day isolation period is having on Kiwis' lives, including supply issues and workforce shortages.

"There needs to be a balance between effectively controlling the outbreak and the flow-on effect for business and essential goods and services such as transport and food supply," he said.

But don't go running out your front door just yet. Of course, you'll still need to test negative before heading out into the community. Household contacts will also still need to have a rapid antigen test (RAT) at day three and day seven of their isolation period.

If they become symptomatic they'll also need to test, and if the result is positive, they are required to be isolated for seven days from that point.

New Zealand's self-isolation period is shortening from 10 days to seven days, coming into effect at 11.59pm on Friday, March 11. For more information, check out the Government's COVID-19 website.

Published on March 09, 2022 by Sarah Templeton
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