COVID-19 clinical advice line

The Government-funded National Telehealth Service (run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa) provided a COVID-19 clinical advice line for community health providers (including primary care, pharmacy, midwives, aged residential care providers, and home and community health care professionals).

This service has now been decommissioned.

Primary Care COVID-19 Quick Reference Guide

This is a summary of information for community healthcare providers involved in: 

  • assessing and managing COVID-19
  • queries regarding COVID-19 risk and need for testing (including general practice, community pharmacy, Hauora Māori, and urgent care providers).

This guide aims to help primary care providers to develop their policies and procedures.

View the Primary Care Quick Reference Guide

Striving for equity - COVID-19 Testing and Supply

Striving for equity - COVID-19 Testing and Supply

Case Studies on Equity, Volume 1 and Volume 2 show how the Testing and Supply team demonstrate equity in action.

These case studies summarise the Testing and Supply team’s work to improve equitable outcomes for priority populations from January – June 2022.

Read the Case Studies on Equity, Volume 1 and Volume 2.

COVID-19 return to work guidance for healthcare workers

Healthcare workers have a unique role and therefore a unique responsibility when considering their return to work following a COVID-19 infection or being a household contact of someone with COVID-19. 

This guidance provides advice for health sector clinical leaders and managers on managing the return to work of healthcare workers who have been infected with, or exposed to, COVID-19, as well as those who have acute respiratory symptoms but have tested negative for COVID-19.  

See the COVID-19 return to work guidance for healthcare workers

Guidance on managing community cases and contacts

For guidance on the management of cases and contacts, please refer to the COVID-19 chapter in the Communicable disease control manual.

Clinical guidance on testing for possible COVID-19 reinfection

Clinical and operational guidance on testing for possible COVID-19 reinfection has been amended and simplified and is now included in the Primary Care and  other clinic-based setting Guidance.


Access to health services and testing after having COVID-19

People who have had a COVID-19 infection may have persistent positive COVID-19 PCR tests in the three months after recovering. This is because it takes time for viral fragments to be cleared from the body, despite no longer being infectious. 

In the three months following recovery from COVID-19, people who need to access healthcare of any kind, including residential facilities, should be able to do so without the need for a negative COVID-19 test.

Clinical Management of COVID-19 in Hospitalised Adults

The content of this document has been updated to reflect the latest in policy setting changes. The majority of the content related to clinical management has not been updated since early 2023, reflecting the disestablishment of the Technical Advisory Group.  

This is the final issue of this document. Please take this into consideration when utilising this guidance in the future.   

Therapeutics for COVID-19

The Therapeutics Technical Advisory Group (TAG) was established by the Ministry of Health in August 2021 to provide expert advice on existing and emerging medicines for use in the management of COVID-19. This group prepares and provides a range of advice for health professionals on the use of COVID-19 therapeutics including the guidelines on the Clinical Management of COVID-19 in Hospitalised Adults. The Therapeutics Technical Advisory Group last met on May 19 2023.


Position Statement: Molnupiravir is no longer available in New Zealand Aotearoa for the treatment of COVID-19For further information please refer to the Pharmac statement.  


Oral antiviral medicine for the treatment of COVID-19

Information and guidance have been developed for health practitioners to aid in the provision of the oral antiviral Paxlovid to treat COVID-19. This medicine is given to people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, have symptoms, and are at a higher risk of hospitalisation including Māori and Pacific peoples, those with complex health needs, older persons, unvaccinated populations, and people with disabilities.

Access criteria for Paxlovid is set by Pharmac.

A pharmacy guide has been developed to aid in responding to people with questions about oral treatment for COVID-19.

Guidance on advance prescriptions for oral COVID-19 antiviral medicines

Health NZ | Te Whatu Ora has released guidance on advance prescriptions for oral COVID-19 antiviral medicines. The document provides guidance to relevant appropriately qualified prescribers and pharmacists to support safe and timely access to oral therapeutic for COVID-19 to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and poor outcomes. Read more about COVID-19 medicines.

Antiviral Options for COVID-19 Infection in patients with Chronic Kidney disease

This advice a position statement from the Therapeutics TAG to provide guidance relating to the use of antivirals in patients with Chronic Kidney Failure.

Clinical rehabilitation for people with long COVID

This guideline is intended to provide clinical guidance on long COVID conditions in both children and adults in Aotearoa New Zealand.

It is an evidence-based summary that covers the definition and diagnosis of long COVID. It seeks to provide the best evidence currently available to assist informed decision-making to improve the health, vocational and social outcomes for individuals with long COVID.

There are also two summary fact sheets available – for clinicians, and for individuals and whanau.

View the guidance on clinical rehabilitation for people with long COVID

COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control - Guidance for Acute Care Hospitals

Clinical guidance for responding to patients with an intellectual (learning) disability during COVID-19 in Aotearoa New Zealand

People with an intellectual (learning) disability are at a heightened risk of having a poor outcome from infection with COVID-19 in comparison to non-disabled people. These guidelines are being provided to ensure equity for people with an intellectual disability.


talkingCOVID is designed to help health professionals have conversations about what matters most to patients and their whānau. The talkingCOVID pages are based on sound principles, evidence and experience.

Older adults, and those living with chronic or life-limiting conditions, are at increased risk of experiencing severe or critical symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection and are more likely to die. They may also experience non-COVID-19-related deterioration in their health status during this period. Advance care planning is critical for this cohort and should form a key part of our health system's COVID-19 response strategy.

Advance care planning guidance, specific to the COVID-19 context, has been developed for health practitioners. The guidance is optional, and aims to support conversations and planning with patients.

Visitors to New Zealand who require treatment for COVID-19

The only groups that automatically qualify for the same COVID-19 healthcare as New Zealand citizens and residence-class visa holders are:

  • Australian citizens or residence-class visa holders; and
  • citizens of the United Kingdom.

Travellers are encouraged to check (before they travel) their insurance covers them for the treatment of COVID-19, and the cost of changing flights, or self-isolating in suitable accommodation.

Currently, visitors who are not citizens or residence-class visa holders and who are not covered by any reciprocal healthcare agreements will only be eligible for publicly funded COVID-19 healthcare including COVID-19 antiviral medicines if they meet the requirements of the Health and Disability Services Eligibility Direction 2011. The assessment of an individual’s circumstances will be made at an operational level.

Any private care provided under the Health and Disability Services Eligibility Direction 2011 should be billed to the Ministry of Health in the same way as funded care provided to overseas visitors.

People who are not eligible for publicly funded COVID-19 health care including COVID-19 antiviral medicine may purchase Paxlovid privately from some pharmacies.

To purchase Paxlovid privately will require paying the full commercial price for the medicine and any services required to access the medicine, such as a consultation with your doctor or pharmacist.