COVID-19 Safety Policy

Note: Due to the nature of this Disease and the everchanging status in New Zealand, this policy may be updated at any time. Please check back regularly for new information.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly-discovered virus that emerged in late 2019.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring hospitalisation. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems, are more likely to develop serious illness.


Symptoms can include one or more of the following:

  • a new or worsening cough
  • sneezing and runny nose
  • a fever
  • temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue/feeling of tiredness.

Less common symptoms may include:

  • diarrhoea
  • headache
  • muscle pain or body aches
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • malaise — a general feeling of discomfort, illness or unease
  • chest pain
  • abdominal pain
  • joint pain
  • confusion or irritability.

How it spreads

The virus can spread through:

  • close contact with an infectious person
  • contact with droplets from an infected person when they breathe, speak, cough, sneeze or sing
  • touching objects or surfaces that have droplets from an infected person, and then touching
  • your mouth or face.

Read more here.

Protecting the Community Through Vaccination

Several safe and effective vaccines have been developed to prevent people from getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

Vaccination is an important step for people to protect themselves and the community against the virus.

All hosts (including residents aged 12 years and over who are eligible to receive the vaccine) and guests are asked to enter their COVID-19 vaccination status on their NZH profile so we can appropriately match participants for upcoming placements (NOTE: this is optional). Homestay participants can also indicate if they require their host/guest to be vaccinated to assist with this process.

International Students Arriving in New Zealand

International students travelling to New Zealand will need to follow New Zealand Government health and border requirements.

More information can be found here.

What do I Need to do to Stay Safe?

Check local advice where you live, study and work. Do it all!

Healthy habits help stop the spread of viruses:

  • Stay up to date with your vaccinations
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Limit time in crowded places
  • Wear a face mask
  • Keep your distance from others when indoors
  • Improve ventilation
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow
  • Keep your hands clean
  • Clean surfaces regularly
  • Keep track of where you have been

Household cleaning is important.

  • Ensure appropriate cleaning and disinfecting of the guest’s room and communal areas is carried out prior to the commencement of each placement (the New Zealand Government’s Unite Against COVID-19 website as some handy tips around cleaning during the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces that are used often such as benchtops, desks and doorknobs
  • Frequently clean and disinfect objects that are used often such as dishes, cutlery, remote
  • controls, mobile phones, keys, wallets and work passes
  • Increase the amount of fresh air by opening windows or changing air conditioning filters
  • Regular cleaning of the entire home is important to reduce the spread of germs

You can call Healthline at any time for advice and support on 0800 358 5453.

What Happens of a Guest or Host is Unwell Prior to a Placement Commencing?

If a guest is unwell and/or has been exposed to COVID-19, they will be required to postpone their arrival for the placement. They will need to isolate (or complete Government mandated quarantine if ordered) and provide a negative COVID test prior to arriving in the home.

If a host is unwell and/or has been exposed to COVID-19 prior to a guest arriving at their home, the placement will need to be cancelled and the guest placed with an alternative host to avoid putting the guest at risk of contracting the virus.

When You or Someone in Your Home is Sick During a Placement?

As we move towards living COVID Safe, it is important that anyone who is unwell stays at home.

All residents should also continue to practise good hygiene. This applies to guests in placements as well.

If any residents or guests have cold or flu like symptoms seek medical advice and test for COVID-19. Anyone should get tested, even if your symptoms are mild.

If any residents (including guests) in an NZH placement test positive to COVID-19 they must isolate as per New Zealand Government requirements. Others in the home should follow the Advice for Household Contacts. Please ensure you contact NZH as soon as possible to advise of your situation if you are in an active placement.

Important Notice

All participants must commit to COVID-safe practices to help safeguard the health and wellbeing of everyone in the homestay.

NZH will provide the necessary facility for host families and guests to register their COVID-19 vaccination status on their NZH profile, which will be referred to during the placement process.

As the transmission of COVID-19 may occur in a variety of ways and circumstances, and despite the best efforts and precautions taken, NZH cannot be held responsible if a guest or member of a host family is exposed to COVID-19 during a placement.