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.

As we count down to Christmas, festivities and relaxing with whānau and friends remember, gatherings are also an opportunity for COVID-19 to spread. If you are planning a get-together or attending an event, take time to plan and be prepared.

Hosting friends and whānau

As a host you play an important role in protecting your guests. If you or anyone in your home is sick, do not host the gathering or invite people over. Do not place pressure on people to attend events or gatherings if they are unwell and encourage them to get tested for COVID-19.

Advice for a hosting a safe gathering

  • Set up a sanitising station - encourage guests to sanitise their hands upon arrival and practice good hygiene.
  • Have good ventilation:
    • When choosing a venue choose one that provides space and ventilation
    • If hosting at home consider having windows or doors open, weather permitting, try and host your event outdoors.
  • Don’t share food or utensils - avoid using shared utensils and limit the number of people preparing, handling and serving food.
  • Keep a list of names – make a note of all the people who visit you at home or at your holiday destination.
  • Consider creating your own QR code. Read more about creating you own QR code here.
  • Have a cancellation and backup plan should someone get sick or if the COVID-19 Protection Framework settings change.

Above all remain vigilant, and follow the guidelines Stay safe this summer | Unite against COVID-19

With COVID-19 present in our community and around Aotearoa New Zealand, it is really important to make sure you are 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.

Have your plan

  • Think about how you could get home to isolate should you need to. You can only do this in a private vehicle and will need to consider: the best route, how to get petrol (contactless only) and supplies for the journey (you can't stop at shops).
  • Consider what needs to be done at home should you need to stay away longer, eg, feeding pets, watering plants. Organise for someone to do these tasks if required.
  • Take your home isolation plan with you - a lot of the details will still be relevant. If you have not already made one find out more on the Preparing your whānau for COVID-19 page.
  • Have a list of important contact details for people back home should you need to contact them, eg, whānau, GP, pharmacy, kennels.
  • Have enough money to cover the costs of extended time away from home.
  • Pack extra medical and hygiene supplies:
    • Additional supply of prescription medications - ask your doctor for a prescription
    • Extra masks, hand sanitisers and wipes
    • Over the counter medicines, eg, paracetamol, ibuprofen, decongestants.
  • Pack extra clothes anticipating an extended stay.
  • Think about entertainment activities to keep tamariki entertained away from home.
  • Isolating may impact on your job. Consider how you could work in isolation should you need to and plan for this.

Stay vigilant

The advice for anyone considering travelling over the summer break is to remain vigilant:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear masks or face coverings in public places
  • Scan QR codes
  • Check locations of interest regularly
  • Maintain safe distances especially from people you don’t know
  • Continue good hygiene practices

Follow the guidelines

Whether you are able to return home or need to isolate in your current location, you will need to follow the Isolation Guidelines

Care in the Community is a national framework developed by the Ministry of Health in consultation with the health and disability and welfare sector. The framework sets expectations and provides central guidance to ensure people with COVID-19 receive the health, welfare and wellbeing support they need. For more information visit COVID-19.govt.nz > Isolation and care.