COVID-19 information for ethnic communities

We provide information for ethnic communities about COVID-19 and what it means for you, your family, and your communities.

Our main priority throughout New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 is to support our ethnic communities, ensuring you have the information and resources you need.

We send out a regular newsletter that includes information about COVID-19 and what it means for ethnic communities in New Zealand.

Sign up for the newsletter(external link) or read previous editions that we have sent out.

Current Alert Levels

All of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1.

For more information on what this means for you, your family, business, or community please visit the Unite Against COVID-19 website.(external link)



If you have cold or flu symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline. They will let you know if you should have a COVID-19 test.

  • CALL your local Family Doctor (GP)/Urgent Care Clinic, most Doctors can test, but you need to call them before you go.
  • CALL Healthline 0800 358 5453 for health advice. (Choose Option#1 for language support, stay on the line, then say the language you want e.g. ‘Korean’)
  • GET tested at a Community Testing Centre. Find a testing location near you(external link)

Keeping track of where you have been

Fast and effective tracking helps us to prevent any further spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

Visit the Unite Against COVID-19 website(external link) to learn more and download the NZ COVID Tracer app.

image of the NZ Covid Tracer app

If you are not able to use the COVID Tracer app you can use a booklet. You can download, print and order booklets to help you keep track(external link). The booklets are available in several languages.

You should keep track of:

  • Where you went
  • When you went there
  • Who you met.

You can keep a track of your movements by:

  • Using the app above to record your movement
  • Keeping a diary
  • Keeping a list in a safe place, or
  • Taking time-stamped photos of where you have been.

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19

There are simple steps that can slow the spread of the virus. This helps to protect yourself and others. This includes:

  • Staying home if you are sick
  • Washing your hands
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow
  • Clean surfaces

More details are available on the COVID-19 website(external link).

Funding for programmes to support ethnic communities

The Ethnic Communities Development Fund is available for initiatives that support ethnic communities as they deal with the challenges of COVID-19.

Groups from any ethnic community are eligible to apply.

More information about the Fund, and instructions on how to apply(external link).

Watch videos in a range of languages about the Fund and how to apply(external link).

Information for businesses

All businesses must display a NZ COVID Tracer QR code for each business location(external link).

It must be in either a prominent place or near the main entrances. Please ensure you also have alternative systems for tracing.

Information about financial assistance for businesses(external link) is available on the COVID-19 website. Further information for businesses is available on the following websites:

Information for temporary migrants and non-visa holders

Travellers, student visa holders, migrant workers and employers can find information on the Immigration New Zealand website.(external link)

Immigration New Zealand also has a COVID-19 Migrant and Refugee page(external link). This page has information for settlement service providers.

International students: There are measures in place to ensure the international education community can find support. Information is available on Education New Zealand’s COVID-19 page.(external link)

COVID Testing without current visas: It is important that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 call Healthline immediately. Healthline is free — call 0800 358 5453.

Everyone can get tested – you do not need to be a New Zealand citizen or resident. The test is still free, and you will not be charged for care if you test positive. But, you may need to pay for a test if it is for the purpose of entering another country.

No information will be shared with Immigration New Zealand even if you test positive.

Emergency Benefit for Temporary Visa Holders:

If you've got a temporary visa, are in financial hardship and can't return home due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for the Emergency Benefit for Temporary Visa Holders. This emergency benefit from the Ministry of Social Development can help with your basic living costs, usually until you can arrange to get home.

* Note for Trans-Tasman bubble travellers. The Government has confirmed the Emergency Benefit for Temporary Visa Holders will not be available to people who arrived in New Zealand on or after Monday 19 April 2021. Travel to and from Australia is at the flyer’s risk and people must be prepared to support themselves if the Trans-Tasman bubble closes. To ensure people are eligible for the Emergency Benefit for Temporary Visa Holders, they will have to provide their latest arrival date in New Zealand, as well as their visa status.

More information on the Emergency Benefit for Temporary Visa Holders, including how to apply, is available on the Work and Income website(external link).

Information in languages other than English

Do you need an interpreter? Call the agency you want to talk to, ask for a telephone interpreter, say the language you want and wait. They will connect you. 

Our team has prepared videos in a variety of languages for ethnic communities. There are also a variety of translations that are not included in the range of languages provided on the COVID-19 website.

Translations of the requirements at each Alert Level are available in a range of languages(external link) on the COVID-19 website. Information in additional languages are available on our COVID-19 Translated resources page.

The Red Cross has published information resources in 18 languages(external link) prepared by the community as part of their response to COVID-19.

The Northern Region District Health Boards and Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) have translated COVID-19 related health resources into 47 languages.(external link)


Preventing family violence and sexual violence

The Government and the Police continue to take family violence and sexual violence very seriously. Violence is a crime at any time.

Information about the help and support available if you are experiencing family violence or sexual violence.(external link)

Racial discrimination

Racism is not OK. Not now, not ever.

If you believe you or someone you know have been discriminated against, either racially or for another reason, please inform the Human Rights Commission using the form on its website.(external link) The Commission will use this information to see if it can help you, and as a record for its human rights advocacy work. You can also report incidents to Police by calling 105 or by using the online 105 form.(external link) Call 111 in an emergency.

More information is available on the Responding to Racism page of the Human Right Commission website.(external link)

Stop. Think. Be kind. Racism is not OK. Not now, not ever.

Welfare and wellbeing support

There are many ways to get financial help or access essential supplies if you need them.

The COVID-19 website has information about:

A support and services card is also available in 28 languages.(external link) It outlines key contact numbers and information if you need support or help.


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