New Zealand moves to Phase 3 of Omicron Response

This afternoon, Minister Chris Hipkins announced that New Zealand will move to Phase 3 of the Omicron Response from 11:59pm tonight, Thursday 24th of February. You can view the three phased public health response here. 

There is no change to the traffic light settings, and businesses remain open. Phase 3 means changes to the definition of close contacts, more frequent use of rapid antigen tests, and the continuation of other measures, like the use of digital technologies, from phase 2.

Here’s what you need to know about Phase 3

  • Only confirmed cases and household contacts will be required to isolate.
  • All other contacts will be asked to monitor for symptoms, but don’t have to isolate. 
  • Rapid Antigen Tests will become the primary testing method.
  • From March, businesses will be able to supply RATs to the public.

Close contacts
At Phase 3, Close Contacts no longer need to isolate — unless they have symptoms. If you get a notification from your workplace, school or through the NZ COVID Tracer app that you are a Close Contact, you should monitor your symptoms for 10 days.

  • If you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you are considered a Household Contact and will need to isolate for 10 days. 
  • You must get a test on Day 3 and Day 10 of your isolation. If you develop symptoms you should get a test sooner.
  •  If you are a Household Contact and you test positive, you will need to isolate for 10 days.

From Friday 25th February, if you are currently a Close Contact and are part way through your isolation, you do not need to complete your 10 days isolation and you will be permitted to leave. You do not need to get a negative COVID-19 test.

You can refer here for more information on Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT).

To assist with this three phase approach, it is recommended to get your booster shot, wear a mask, follow basic hygiene rules and reduce contact as much as is practical.

Living with COVID Resource

This resource provides a mix of resources, guidance, and stand-alone posters for businesses to use as we live with COVID in our workplaces in 2022 and beyond.

Get your Vaccine Booster shot
Learn about booster doses for COVID-19 vaccines, when you need one and how to get it on the government website here.

HazardCo COVID-19 Protection Framework Resources
If you haven’t completed a Red COVID-19 Safety Plan yet we recommend you do. The team at HazardCo has put together this HazardCo resource, which includes resources for the traffic light system, Vaccination Risk Assessments, COVID-19 Safety Plans, and suspected COVID-19 Response Guide.

Remember it’s important that everyone is prepared for COVID-19 and puts a plan together for both your business and home. Here is the COVID-19 Resource Toolkit which has everything you need to know.

We are also here to support you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with our advisory team if you would like further information on the Covid-19 restrictions and how they impact you. Give us a call on 0800 555 339 or email

Please note that our HazardCo communications are guidance as per the official Government, Ministry of Health, and WorkSafe New Zealand advice.

Stay safe,
The HazardCo Team

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