Recommended COVID-19 Testing advice for the health sector (including Aged Residential Care facilities) and general population can be found here:

Recommended COVID-19 Testing advice

COVID-19 Chapter of the Communicable Disease Control Manual


There is specific guidance for clinical leaders and managers in the health sector to manage 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 COVID-19: Return to work guidance for healthcare workers

PPE use in health care

PPE should be used correctly and safely in accordance with the Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora personal protective equipment guidance for healthcare settings. 

It is recommended that healthcare workers undertake a respiratory risk assessment.

For further infection and prevention guidance, see Infection prevention and control recommendations for health and disability care workers

COVID-19 vaccination

Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccination is by far and away the best thing we can do to protect ourselves and other people as it helps keep immunity high. 

Getting a COVID-19 booster – including additional boosters for those that are eligible – provides further significant protection against COVID-19 infection, compared to the primary course alone. 

Having COVID-19 does not provide the same level of immunity as getting vaccinated. We also know that the protection from the primary course of the vaccine decreases over time.

As COVID-19 vaccination is strongly recommended some employers may still require workers to be vaccinated due to their responsibilities under health and safety legislation.

Read more about COVID-19 vaccinations.

Six Principles for Safe Visiting and Social Activities in Aged Residential Care

These Six Principles for Safe Visiting and Social Activities in Aged Residential Care support ARC providers in the development of policies and procedures that enable safe visiting, social activities and outings in the context of viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19.

New Zealand Pandemic Response Policy for Aged Residential Care

The New Zealand Pandemic Response Policy for Aged Residential Care should underpin all pandemic planning, including COVID-19, in aged residential care.

Independent review into clusters of COVID-19 in aged residential care

Following the classification of five clusters of COVID 19 in ARC facilities, the former Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, commissioned this review to quickly learn what was effective and what needs to be improved in order to avoid or better manage any similar events in the future. Read the full report and recommendations.

The report made 19 recommendations, which were turned into an action plan with seven workstreams. These workstreams have been addressed and the action plan is now considered fulfilled. Read the action plan.

Retirement Villages

Retirement Villages operate under the same guidance as the wider community where they are based.