COVID-19: Housing and related service providers

New Zealand moved to the traffic light system at 11.59pm on 2 December. This page provides guidance for housing and housing support service providers for operating within the traffic light system.  

About this guidance

This information is up to date as of 5 April 2022.

Official guidance about traffic light settings

You can find information on the system on the Unite against COVID-19 website.

Care in the Community

The Care in the Community response is led by Ministry of Health and you can find information on the Care in the Community framework here:

Caring for people with COVID-19 in the community | Ministry of Health NZ

When someone tests positive for COVID-19, the local Public Health team assess what support they may need to self-isolate and will connect them with local providers. In the case of one of your residents testing positive, the local Public Health team will talk to you about what you need to do.

There is information on the support available for people who test positive here:

care-in-the-community-support-if-you-get-COVID-19.pdf (

People needing support can call the COVID Welfare Phone Line on 0800 512 337.

Testing for COVID-19

Rapid Antigen Tests are now widely available to the public.  People who need a test can request free COVID-19 testing kits here and collect them from their local collection centre.

Request a RAT | Ministry of Health NZ (

Ministry of Health has organised access to Rapid Antigen Tests for Transitional Housing and Housing First providers to undertake supervised testing of clients.  Those providers will have received information on how to order and use the tests from the Ministry of Health.  If you did not receive this information and you think you should have, please contact .

We will continue to work with the Ministry of Health on access to tests for our providers as the situation changes and will keep you updated.

Close contact exemption scheme

Now we are at Phase 2 of the Omicron outbreak, workers at registered critical services who are an asymptomatic close contact may continue to work.

You can register as a critical service for the Close Contact Exemption scheme here:

Testing and returning to work during Omicron —

If you register as a critical service, employees that you have identified as critical workers can continue to work if they are:

  • fully vaccinated
  • asymptomatic
  • return a negative rapid antigen test before each work day/shift during their isolation period
  • follow specific health protocols
  • only go to work – they cannot go anywhere else.

It is important to note that rapid antigen tests are 80% accurate and you should continue to follow your COVID-19 safety plan limit the risk of transmission and keep your residents, staff and their whānau safe.  We encourage you to talk to your staff about your plan and listen to any concerns they have about continuing to work if they are a close contact or working with colleagues who are close contacts.  For example, you could consider whether it is possible for close contacts to work remotely or in a location that is separate from their colleagues and your residents.

If any of your staff do test positive, you can find information on what to do here:

Guidance for workplaces that have a case of COVID-19 | Ministry of Health NZ

Published: February 4, 2022