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

Nelson Marlborough region is in Alert Level 2 from 11.59am, Tuesday 7 September 2021.

At Alert Level 2, where possible health and disability services will open and operate as normal.

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 at Alert Level 2

Our vaccination programme is continuing at Alert Level 2 with physical distancing in place. Please wear a face mask or face covering to your appointment. See our COVID-19 vaccine rollout page for more information on the vaccine rollout in Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough.

Planned care (elective surgery) will operate as normal as possible during Alert Level 2. Some non-urgent services or treatment may be rescheduled.

To reduce the number of people entering the hospital site, we may offer you an alternative appointment by telehealth (phone or video conferencing) instead, with a few appointments occurring in person. In these cases, we will contact you directly to arrange this.

Please note, due to physical distancing constraints in the waiting rooms we are asking only one support person to attend appointments. Exceptions will be made for circumstances such as parent/guardian of child, physical or mental disability, translation, and significant diagnosis. These will need to be approved by the Manager.

Please attend your appointment unless you hear from us. Phone 03 546 1800 if you are unsure.

At Alert Level 2 our hospitals are open but things may look a little different as we work to keep each other safe:

  • It is a requirement for staff, patients and visitors to wear masks in NMH healthcare settings.
  • Physical distancing of 2 meters is in place.
  • Record keeping is mandatory at healthcare facilities. Staff, patients and visitors need to sign-in or keep a record of their attendance.
  • Hospital attendees will be asked COVID-19 screening questions on entry.

To minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission visitor restrictions are in place:

  • In the inpatient setting (when people stay overnight) this means:
    • Visiting hours are strictly 2.30pm-8pm.
    • Three visitors may be nominated by the patient to visit.
    • Each nominated visitor may attend for one visit per day.
    • Only one visitor may attend at a time.
    • Children under the age of 16 are restricted from visiting.
    • Exceptions to the above (eg, compassionate grounds) require approval by the manager in charge. To request an exception, please phone the main line on 03 546 1800 and ask to be put through to the ward you want to visit.
  • In high-risk areas (where screening may be difficult or patients particularly vulnerable such as the Emergency Department, Maternity and Intensive Care Unit or High Dependency Unit) this means:
    • One support person may visit for one visit per day.
    • Exceptions to the above (eg, compassionate grounds) require approval by the manager in charge. To request an exception, please phone the main line on 03 546 1800 and ask to be put through to the ward you want to visit.
  • In the outpatient setting (where people attend an appointment) this means:
    • One support person may accompany the patient.
    • Exceptions to the above require approval by the manager in charge. To request an exception, please phone the main line on 03 546 1800 and ask to speak with the Charge Nurse Manager Outpatients.

At Alert Level 2, there are important rules we all need to follow to keep ourselves and each other safe.

  • At Alert Level 2, there are no restrictions on who can be included in your household bubble.
  • You can go to work, and all businesses and services can open but legally must follow public health rules.
  • Early learning services, schools, kura and tertiary education facilities are open to everyone.
  • Even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to follow the rules to keep everyone safe.
  • If you undertake activities outside of your house, please wear a mask when you leave the house.
  • Keep 2m apart from other people when undertaking physical exercise in your neighbourhood, visiting supermarkets, retail shops, pharmacies, medical centres or getting a test.
  • Businesses must make sure workers can keep 1 metre apart, where possible. 
  • At restaurants, cafes and bars, there must be 1 metre between adjacent tables.
  • At event facilities such as cinemas, stadiums, and concert venues, everyone must keep 1 metre apart, except for friends and families.
  • You can socialise at Alert Level 2, but keep track of where you have been and who you have seen. This is easier if you socialise with people you know well.
  • 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.
  • Keeping track of where you've been by using the NZ COVID-19 Tracer App or a written diary record.

Read the Alert Level 2 rules in detail

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.

Here are your options for testing:

1. 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.

2. 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.

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

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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