View our page about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough region. This includes information on:

  • When you can get a COVID-19 vaccine
  • How many people have been vaccinated in our region
  • Vaccine safety and side effects

View our page about Preparing your whānau for COVID-19This includes information on simple, practical things you can do to prepare in case you, or someone in your whānau becomes unwell, or if COVID-19 becomes common in our community, such as:

  • Making a plan for your household
  • What to expect if you have to self-isolate
  • Ideas to keep busy/entertained while isolating
  • How to stay connected while isolating
  • Shopping checklists and other practical advice.

As the summer holidays approach, many of us are looking forward to hosting gatherings at home with friends and whānau we haven't seen for a while, or just having a holiday away from home.

With COVID-19 present in our community and around Aotearoa New Zealand, it is really important to make sure you are prepared to host gatherings safely at home, and prepared for what you might do should you or a member of your whānau get COVID-19 while you're away from home and need to isolate.

Click through to read our advice on Preparing for COVID-19 over summer.

Nelson Marlborough region is in Red under the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights) from 11:59 pm on Sunday 23 January 2022. 

You can still get medical help if you need it. This includes healthcare services, such as Healthline (0800 611 116), GPs, cancer services, disability and aged support services.

However, if you need to see a doctor or other medical professional you MUST phone first. Many consultations will happen over the phone or by videoconference to stop any risk of COVID-19 spreading by person-to-person contact.

Please only call Healthline if you or someone you know feels unwell or you need medical advice, rather than general questions about COVID-19. It's important Healthline is able to answer calls from those who need medical advice. The more people who call asking for general information, the fewer people who need medical advice can get through.

If you cannot get through and are severely unwell, for example having trouble breathing, contact emergency services (call 111).

COVID-19 vaccinations 

See our COVID-19 vaccine rollout page for more information on the vaccine rollout in Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough.

Everyone has access to healthcare and you do not need to show your My Vaccine Pass. We do however have some restrictions in place to help keep you and our health services safe from COVID-19.

Before the day of your appointment

  • Support person: We are unable to accommodate support people at appointments. An exception can be made in advance for people with disabilities where a support person is required to access health services. For example a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, assistance with mobility or compassionate grounds for diagnosis. To request an exception please phone the number provided in your appointment/surgery letter.
  • Wearing a mask: We encourage all patients and approved support people to wear a surgical mask and can provide this when you enter the hospital. If you have a disability or health condition that prevents you from being able to wear a mask, we ask that you provide a valid exemption card and let us know in advance so we can make appropriate plans. Please alert the team by phoning the number provided in your appointment/surgery letter. If we don’t know in advance, you will be asked to wait at the main entrance when you arrive and a clinical member of staff will come and talk with you to understand the risks. This may cause a delay for you as appropriate measures are put in place to keep everyone safe. Valid exemption cards can be issued by Disabled Persons Assembly NZ, Blind Citizens NZ and Deaf Aotearoa. People can request an exemption if they have a disability or a health condition that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable.

On the day of your appointment

  • If you are unwell (eg, cough, runny nose), please contact the department so alternative arrangements can be made.
  • Entering the hospital: Regardless of where you appointment is, come to the main entrance so you can record your attendance and answer screening questions. These questions allow us to understand any COVID-19 risk and make appropriate plans.
  • Screening questions: No one will be denied healthcare based on these screening questions, however alternative arrangements may need to be made for support people who screen at-risk. Visitors who screen at-risk will not be able to attend hospital.
  • Once you have entered the hospital, you may be asked the screening questions again by the department. This is an appropriate measure to ensure consistency and accuracy of the information provided. Your patience in answering these questions is appreciated.
  • Public health measures: You will need to follow public health measure while at the hospital. This includes recording your attendance or scanning-in, wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing of 2 metres, cough etiquette and using hand sanitisers/hand washing.
  • Arrive on time: There is no need to arrive early to your appointment. The number of people within the waiting room environment is being closely managed and as such patients who arrive too early may be asked to wait in their car until their appointment.
  • Sorry, no café: With access restrictions in place at the hospital, the café is currently closed to the public.

If you stay overnight

Keeping ourselves and each other safe at Orange (traffic light) means:

  • Face coverings mandatory in some places (e.g. on flights, public transport, taxis, retail, public facilities, healthcare) and encouraged elsewhere.
  • Keeping track of where you've been by using the NZ COVID-19 Tracer App or a written diary record.
  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call: Healthline (for free on 0800 358 5453), your doctor or nurse, or your iwi health provider. A health professional will let you know the next steps and if you should get a test.
  • Maintaining good hygiene practices: washing your hands, coughing or sneezing into your elbow and cleaning surfaces.
  • Retail and public facilities (e.g. libraries) open with capacity limits based on 1 metre distancing. Some public facilities will be operating with MyVaccine Pass requirements. 

The symptoms for COVID-19 are:

  • a fever (high temperature)
  • a cough
  • shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • a sore throat
  • sneezing and a runny or dripping nose
  • a temporary loss of sense of smell

Read more about COVID-19 symptoms

Testing for COVID-19

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as cold or flu symptoms, contact Healthline (0800 358 5453) or your doctor to find out if you need a test.

If you are offered a test for COVID-19, please take it. It will help us ensure we don’t have community transmission, and help keep your friends, family and whānau safe.  A COVID-19 test is free of charge.

If you have been tested, follow the instructions given to you by the nurse or GP about what to do during the time you are waiting for your test results.

Please refer to the Ministry of Health website for more information about testing

Testing is free for people with COVID-19 symptoms in the Nelson Marlborough region. If you are unsure of whether you should get a test, call Healthline for advice: 0800 358 5453. If you are unvaccinated against COVID-19 but require a COVID-19 test for domestic travel, you can get a free rapid antigen test from a pharmacy between 15 December 2021 and 17 January 2022. Find out where to get a rapid antigen test.

Here are your options for testing:

1. Community Based Testing Centre (CBAC)

CBAC opening hours can be found on the HealthPoint website. Please note: CBACs are not for members of the public who require a COVID-19 test for travel purposes. If you require a COVID-19 test for travel purposes, you need to book this through your GP. 

2. At your regular GP clinic (your family doctor). Appointments are needed, but there is no charge for testing. Phone ahead first if you are planning to visit your doctor and request a test.

All GP practices in the Nelson Marlborough region are offering COVID-19 testing except for Tima Health in Nelson and Havelock Medical Centre. You can view a full list of GPs offering COVID-19 testing and their opening hours on HealthPoint.

Please note: during times when there is a confirmed case in our region, you might be redirected to a CBAC instead

3. After-hours clinics

Nelson Medical & Injury Centre:

  • 98 Waimea Rd
  • 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week
  • Ph: 03 546 8881

Urgent Care Centre, Blenheim:

  • Wairau Hospital (near ED), Hospital Rd
  • 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week
  • Ph: 03 520 6377

 After-hours centre information for Golden Bay, Motueka and Murchison is available online here.

Please note: during times when there is a confirmed case in our region, you might be redirected to a CBAC instead.

4. Testing is available for inpatients in hospitals and for people presenting to EDs in emergencies.

If you think you have COVID-19 call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To find your local testing station visit Healthpoint.

Read more about COVID-19 assessment and testing

You will be contacted with your results. If you results are positive a staff member will call you, let them know you are currently not in your local area. They will work with you to come up with a care and isolation plan for you and your whānau. This may require you to stay where you are and isolate in alternative accommodation or return to your home and isolate there.

The numbers of COVID-19 tests provided across Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough during Alert Level 4 (August 2021 outbreak) are:










GP Total


18 August 2021





89 215


19 August 2021








20 August 2021








21 August 2021








22 August 2021








23 August 2021








24 August 2021








25 August 2021






26 August 2021






27 August 2021






28 August 2021






29 August 2021






30 August 2021






31 August 2021






1 September 2021






2 September 2021






3 September 2021






4 September 2021






5 September 2021




Running Totals (since 18 August)









For further detail and long-term data about tests please go to the Ministry of Health webpage.


COVID-19 vaccination data

COVID-19 vaccination data is available here.

The process for people in our region who test positive for COVID-19 is the same as in other regions, as directed by NZ health authorities.

There is some clear information about the process, and the length of time people stay in isolation for, on the Ministry of Health's webpage here.

A person with a confirmed case, who does not require hospitalisation, will be required to go into isolation. A Medical Officer of Health (in the Public Health Service) will work with the Ministry of Health to determine the most appropriate location for isolation is depending on the person's circumstances. This could include relocation to a managed isolation facility in Christchurch.

For information about the contact tracing process and the types of contacts, go to the Ministry of Health webpage.

In our region, the Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service (NMPHS) undertakes contact tracing for confirmed cases and their close contacts in our region.

Other contact tracing (eg for people on flights), is undertaken by the specialised national close contact tracing service.

The process

  1. Any positive COVID-19 case is statutorily reported to a Medical Officer of Health in the NMPHS
  2. Every case is then interviewed by a NMPHS employee to determine risk factors, including travel
  3. Contact tracing commences 
  4. Every case is monitored by the NMPHS until a Medical Officer of Health has determined that it is safe for the person to come out of isolation

People can make contact tracing easier for health officials by keeping a record of where they go and when and who they meet. They should use the NZ COVID Tracer app to do this, or keep a written record.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) advises DHBs to release case info only at territorial authority (ie, division by regional or district council) level.

This is primarily to protect the privacy of individuals. The MoH provides the following information for each case: Gender, age range and any relevant travel details. If a DHB were add to this data, by providing a specific location for that case, the person’s identity could be assumed – either correctly or incorrectly. This could lead to a privacy breach.

Nelson Marlborough Health (NMH) decided to confirm Golden Bay data on 18 April 2020 in direct response to community demand for this information. By doing so, NMH is one of very few DHBs to break case data down beyond territorial authority level.

Here is the MoH guidance to DHBs:
Information about testing and cases (both confirmed and probable) can be released at either the DHB or TA level as per Ministry of Health guidelines.

It should be noted that the release of TA level information should be exercised with discretion where there is a risk of compromising patient confidentiality, especially in light of information being released on a national level. The Ministry continues to see some inappropriate behaviour against people who are being tested or have/had COVID-19 by some parts of the community. We continue to need to act to respect patient confidentiality.

It’s OK to ask for help. As we work through this together, there are people and agencies able to support you.

Go to the main Unite Against COVID-19 website to see what is available.

Health and wellbeing helplines 

Free apps, toolkits, and other digital resources are also available to help you look after your mental wellbeing. Choose one that works for you from the selection listed on this webpage.

  • Call your doctor or contact Healthline for free advice about your mental or physical health: 0800 611 116
  • Call or text 1737 for free mental health or addictions support
  • Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757
  • Alcohol & Drug Helpline: 0800 787 797

For health advice about babies and children

Speak to a nurse via the free Plunket helpline, for all families, whānau and caregivers: 0800 933 922

For support with family violence or sexual violence

  • Call 111 if you or someone else is in immediate danger of being harmed or harming themselves
  • Find local support services: 0800 211 211 or
  • Call Women's Refuge for advice, support and safe accommodation: 0800 733 843
  • Call the free Elder Abuse Helpline if you, or someone you know, is experiencing elder abuse: 0800 32 668 65

For concerns about the wellbeing or safety of a child

Call Oranga Tamariki if a child or young person is unsafe, not being cared for, or separated from their parents or caregivers: 0508 326 459

For employment advice and support

The new website connects New Zealanders to the wide range of supports and advice available from government agencies to help workers and businesses deal with the impact of COVID-19. 

There is information on apprenticeships, job hunting, training and business support. 


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