How Covid-19 spreads and how to avoid contracting it

corona virus, covid-19

COVID-19, like the flu, can be spread from person to person. When a person who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or talks, they may spread droplets containing the virus a short distance, which quickly settle on surrounding surfaces.

You may get infected by the virus if you touch those surfaces or objects and then touch your mouth, nose or eyes. That’s why it’s really important to use good hygiene, regularly wash and thoroughly dry your hands, and use good cough etiquette.

Prevention of COVID-19

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
  • Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds).
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Avoid personal contact, such as kissing, sharing cups or food with sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Practice social distancing ie: Have at least 1 metre distance between you and the next person if in contact for longer than 15 minutes. If possible, work from home for the 2 week isolation period to be extra safe.
  • Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you have any symptoms and have been to any countries or territories of concern or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19.
  • If you have concern’s of contracting the virus or a feeling unwell, do not go to your doctor, A&E or the hospital, phone Healthline and they will discuss your options to get the best treatment while containing the virus.

If you are returning from overseas travel you need to self-isolate for 14 days.  For updated information for travellers check here to see what you need to do.

For more information from the Ministry of Health please see their website,

Finding the latest information

The best place to find the latest information about the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is on the Ministry of Health’s website (

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