COVID-19 (novel coronavirus): Information for learners, parents and whānau

Information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) for learners, caregivers and whānau


新型冠状病毒:学生家人及看顾人须知 - COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Information for caregivers and whānau of learners  (translated into simplified Chinese)

新型冠狀病毒:學生家人及看顧人須知 - COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Information for caregivers and whānau of learners  (translated into traditional Chinese)

Advice for an unwell child

Anyone who is unwell should not be at school. If you have a particular concern about your child, please contact Healthline at 0800 358 5453 or your GP for medical advice.

Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages including Mandarin and Cantonese.

The incubation period (the length of time it takes to start showing symptoms after being exposed to the virus) is up to 14 days.  

Length of stay at home period

For child who may be at high risk of exposure because they have travelled recently to China or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with the virus, we ask you to delay the start of their school year for 14 days or delay attending their early learning service and stay home.

Authority to prevent a student’s attendance

If your child attends school or an early learning service while showing symptoms, they may be asked to return home by the Principal of a state school, an early learning service provider or home-based educator.

Keeping you and your family well

In terms of keeping yourself and your family well, the Ministry of Health suggests the following:

  • regularly washing hands (for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap and dry thoroughly)
  • covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze
  • staying home if you are sick
  • avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
  • if you feel unwell you should avoid public gatherings and events.

Travel to and from China

As of 2 February 2020, all travellers arriving in New Zealand out of mainland China should stay away from school for a period of 14 days from the time they leave mainland China.

People who departed from mainland China before midnight 2 February are not required to stay away unless they have been in Wuhan City or Hubei Province in the last 14 days. 

If someone has been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) case they should stay home for 14 days. If you develop symptoms including fever, coughing and difficulty breathing you should ring Healthline (for free) at any time on 0800 358 5453 - alternatively you can call your doctor. 

Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages including Mandarin and Cantonese.

Go to the Ministry Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) SafeTravel website for the latest advice on travel:

SafeTravel – Ministry Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) (external link)

More advice for students or staff returning from China is available on the Ministry of Health website:

Novel coronavirus guidance – Ministry of Health (external link)

Key contacts


Healthline has set up a dedicated 0800 number specifically for health-related calls about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus):

The Healthline existing number 0800 611 116 is still the main number to call for non-COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) health concerns.

Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages including Mandarin and Cantonese.

Public health units/district health boards

If you need to contact your public health officer: 

Public Health Unit Contacts – Ministry of Health (external link)

New Zealand Immigration

Keep updated on travel restriuctions through the New Zealand Immigration website:

Immigration New Zealand COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Update (external link)

New Zealand Human Rights Commission

If you know someone who has experienced racial discrimination related to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), the Human Rights Commission offers a free and confidential enquires and complaints service which you can use:

Pastoral care for students

If you have specific questions about pastoral care for domestic or international students, please call NZQA’s Code team on 0800 697 296.

All-of-Government COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) website

Cross-agency information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) including health advice and travel restrictions.

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) – New Zealand Government website (external link)

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