Information on how COVID-19 spreads

COVID-19 is spread from person to person. When an infected person breathes, speaks, coughs, or sneezes, they can spread particles containing the virus.

The risk of airborne transmission becomes higher:

  • in enclosed spaces that do not have good airflow
  • in crowded places with many people nearby
  • in close-contact settings, such as close-range conversations, singing, or shouting.

The risk is lower outside, with fewer people, and if people are widely spread.

How to protect yourself and others

Keeping up healthy habits can slow the spread of the virus and help protect you, your whānau, and your community from COVID-19, including variants. Even if you are vaccinated, you still need to keep up these habits.

Find out about what you can do to stay safe

Getting vaccinated means you are far less likely to get really sick and have to go to hospital if you catch COVID-19. You are also less likely to pass COVID-19 on to other people.

While a 2-dose course provides some protection against severe disease from Omicron, protection against infection can decrease over time. A booster will improve protection against Omicron by reducing the chance of more serious infection and the risk of transmitting it to others.

Pātiki and Waharua Kōpito patterns

Get your COVID-19 vaccine booster

The bivalent Pfizer vaccine has replaced the existing Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for boosters. If you test positive for COVID-19, you have to wait 6 months before you can get any boosters.