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Free rapid antigen testing Public health recommendations Support your team COVID on-farm Risk of transmission Additional resources

All COVID-19 requirements have been lifted, but recommendations remain in place. It's advised to isolate for five days and wear masks in healthcare settings. Free rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 will continue, and booster doses are available for eligible individuals. Reporting rapid test results is encouraged. Antiviral medicines are available for those at high risk of severe illness.

Free rapid antigen testing (Free RAT’s)

Free rapid antigen tests (RATS) for COVID-19 testing will continue to be available to the public and the health and disability sector up until the end of June 2024. Participating RAT collection sites can be found at www.healthpoint.co.nz or by calling free on 0800 222 478 and choosing option 1.

Public health recommendations

  1. Stay at home if you are feeling unwell.
  2. Test with a RAT if you develop one or more of the following COVID-19 symptoms: a runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, loss of smell or taste, shortness of breath.
  3. Continue to report your RAT result at https://mycovidrecord.health.nz (or call the RAT helpline on 0800 222 478).
  4. If you test positive for COVID-19, it is recommended that you isolate for at least 5 days, even if you only have mild symptoms, starting at Day 0. This includes if you have had COVID-19 before. Day 0 is the day symptoms started or when you first tested positive, whichever came first.
  5. Household contacts are recommended to continue to test daily for 5 days using a RAT.

Support your team

Check in frequently with your team and understand the questions they have about the effects of COVID-19 and its potential impact on your farm. If staff members are self-isolating, keep checking in, by telephone about both their physical and mental health. For any support or questions, you can get in touch with your local DairyNZ team.

COVID on-farm

COVID-19 is not a food safety concern. There is consensus that the risk of COVID-19 transmission by food or food packaging is negligible. It is important to understand that there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted via milk. Nonetheless, dairy companies do need farmer support to manage Health and Safety considerations for tanker drivers and to ensure ongoing compliance with other relevant regulations, where there are COVID-19-positive cases on-farm.

If you, a member of your family, or a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, or is a household contact of a confirmed case, you should follow the advice of the Ministry of Health.

To reduce the risk of transmission

  • Get vaccinated.
  • Remain home if sick and arrange to get a covid test.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Wash or sanitise hands regularly throughout the day.
  • Wear gloves for milking.
  • Every farm dairy has a ready supply of detergents and disinfection materials that can be used to clean and sanitise surfaces against microbes, including bacteria and viruses.
  • Your normal wash regime will protect your milk contact surfaces.

Note: all chemicals used in the dairy must be MPI-approved Dairy Maintenance Compounds. Some household products, and animal housing sanitisers contain compounds such as quaternary alkyl ammonium compounds (QACs) or Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs). These cannot be used on milk contact services, and therefore are not approved for use in the farm dairy.


Long COVID is a general term used to describe symptoms that continue or develop beyond the standard time of recovery (2-4 weeks). Long COVID can affect any system of the body, and the severity of symptoms may fluctuate over time. The type of symptoms someone experiences may also vary over time. Symptoms often improve over time. It is important not to rush your recovery. Make sure you get enough rest, pace yourself and plan what you are going to do.

For more information on Long COVID visit covid19.govt.nz

Last updated: Aug 2023

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