COVID-19 - contact types, help with essential costs and supporting your workers
5 March 2021
MSD and the COVID-19 team explain more about the types of contacts, how to get help with essential costs through Work and Income, and how you can support your workers with a range of financial support that is available.
What are the different contacts?
The COVID-19 team have put together a quick quide that explains what the four different types of contacts are, and what you should do if you are told, or believe, you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
With all four types of contact, if any person develops symptoms, they should get tested, even if they have had an earlier test, and they should stay at home while awaiting the test result.
All contacts need to check the specific advice relevant to them on the Ministry of Health website and call Healthline 0800 3585453 if they have any questions.
A Close Contact is anyone who lives with, or has been within 2 metres for 15 minutes or more of, a confirmed or probable case during the case’s infectious period, without appropriate personal protective equipment. Close Contacts may also be identified via the Bluetooth function in the NZ COVID Tracer app; they would receive an orange notification stating that they are a ‘Close Contact’. Close Contacts need to:
- Isolate/quarantine, either at home or in a managed facility, for 14 days from last exposure.
- Test immediately, and on day 5 after first exposure and day 12 after last exposure.
- If symptoms develop, get an additional test immediately.
If the Close Contact develops symptoms, their household members should stay at home until the Close Contact returns a negative test result. If one or more household member(s) develop symptoms, they should stay at home and get a test.
Close Plus Contact
Close Plus Contacts are Close Contacts where there is higher risk for transmission. Their household members should stay at home until the Close Plus Contact returns a negative day 5 test result.
If the Close Plus Contact develops symptoms after returning a Day 5 negative result, the household member(s) should stay at home again until the Close Plus Contact returns an additional negative test result. If one or more household member(s) of the Close Contact develop symptoms, they should stay at home and get a test.
A Casual Contact is anyone who self-identifies as having been at a location of interest and/or receives a yellow notification for a location of interest via the NZ COVID Tracer app that says ‘Casual Contact’.
Casual Contacts need to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days, and if symptoms develop, get tested and stay at home until they get a negative result and for 24 hours after symptoms have resolved. There is no immediate action for the people they live with.
Casual Plus Contact
A Casual Plus Contact is a Casual Contact where there is higher risk for transmission and/or anyone who receives a yellow notification for a location of interest via the NZ COVID Tracer app that says ‘Casual Plus Contact’.
They need to stay at home and get a test around Day 5 after last exposure. They must continue to stay at home until they get a negative test result (in addition to self-monitoring for symptoms for 14 days and getting tested again if symptoms develop).
There is no immediate action for the people they live with.
For more information go to Covid19.govt.nz(external link)
Help with essential costs
If you can’t work at the moment, have lost your job, or are working fewer hours. If you’re sick or need time off work because of COVID-19, Work and Income may be able to help you even if you're working, even if you don’t think you qualify, call us to talk about your situation.
For more information
- Download the factsheet [PDF, 160 KB]
- Visit workandincome.govt.nz(external link) and click on 'Check what you might get'.
- Call us on 0800 559 009, 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm, Saturday.
Supporting workers through COVID-19
There's a range of financial support available to help workers affected by COVID-19 as Alert Levels change.
Support for businesses whose revenue has dropped
The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy has been reintroduced to help businesses and self-employed people whose revenue has dropped because Auckland is now at Alert Level 3. It’s to help them keep paying workers, or themselves if they are self-employed, and protect jobs. This includes workers on casual contracts. Employers and self-employed people throughout
New Zealand can apply for the Wage Subsidy from 1pm on 4 March, with payments made from Monday 8 March.
Inland Revenue’s Resurgence Support Payment is also available. It’s to help businesses whose revenue has reduced because of a COVID-19 Alert Level 2 or higher. Applications need to be made in MyIR on the Inland Revenue website: www.ird.govt.nz The Resurgence Support Payment is in addition to the payments we’re making.
Support for affected workers at all COVID-19 Alert Levels
If workers are directly affected by COVID-19 there’s support available for businesses to help keep paying them at any Alert Level. It’s important workers tell their employer about their situation as the employer needs to make the application.
The Short-Term Absence Payment is available to employers and self-employed people to help pay workers (or themselves if they’re self-employed) who can’t work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result (in line with public health guidance). This includes workers on casual contracts.
The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is to help employers and self-employed people pay workers (or themselves if they’re self-employed) who can’t work from home and meet certain health criteria. For example, they have COVID-19 or are defined by Ministry of Health as a ‘close contact’ who has been told to self-isolate for 14 days. This includes workers on casual contracts. Search for ‘contact tracing locations’ on the Ministry of Health website: www.health.govt.nz
Page updated: 5 March 2021