Preparing for self-isolation

Now that Omicron is in the community, you should make a plan in case you and your household need to isolate.

This page was last updated on 7 March 2022.

Here are some things to think about—have a chat with those around to you to make sure everyone is prepared and ready.

You may be asked to self-isolate if you are a household member of someone with COVID-19, or if you have recently returned from overseas.

If you develop symptoms (e.g. sore throat, fever, cough, runny nose, lost sense of smell / taste, shortness of breath) call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or your local testing centre. Find out what to do if you've tested positive for COVID-19.

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Food and groceries

Some supermarkets can provide home delivery, but you should have a backup in case it’s difficult to book a delivery slot. Reach out to friends and whānau, or neighbours and people in your local community who may be able to help you do a grocery shop. Our student volunteer armies may also be able to collect and deliver groceries to you, or deliver a food pack if you're struggling to afford supplies.

Remember to consider things like cleaning supplies, toiletries, and toilet paper. Have your supplies left on your door step so you can pick them up contactlessly.

Halls residents

If you are a resident in one of our halls, please advise the hall staff using the duty phone that you are unwell, and they will support you as required.

Health and wellbeing

Have at least two weeks of your regular medications ready. See if you’re up to date with your health checks (such as medication reviews and blood pressure checks) as this will help healthcare staff if they are checking in on you.

Check if you have basic cold and flu medications handy. Things like paracetamol, cold and flu tablets, and throat sprays and lozenges can help treat medical symptoms. If you're already isolating, the Wellington Student Volunteer Army may be able to deliver a medical pack of first aid supplies or collect prescriptions from the pharmacy for you.

Mauri Ora can offer virtual appointments via telehealth if you are isolating. In urgent circumstances, we may be able to see you in person. If it is an emergency, call 111. If you need support with your mental health, you can access student counselling as well, or call / text 1737 for free phone counselling.

Alongside our Manawa Ora—Student Wellbeing team, a team of students have put together online wellbeing resources you can access.

You can find more tips on looking after your mental wellbeing on the Unite against COVID-19 website.


You will need to maintain good hygiene practices in isolation. Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, do not share things like towels with other members of your household, and clean and disinfect surfaces regularly. Do your own laundry.

Limit contact with others you live with where possible. Sleep by yourself, try to spend limited time in shared spaces, and wear a face mask when you are near others. Do not have visitors. Opening windows to increase fresh air flow can reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Talk to those in your household and have a plan ready in case one of you tests positive.


If you test positive for COVID-19, your health provider may keep in touch with you via telephone. In this case, you should remember to keep it charged and be ready to answer if they call.

Isolating can be hard, particularly if you are alone. Make sure you have a plan with friends and loved ones to stay in contact regularly during this time. Some community support groups offer phone calls to keep those who are isolating company.

Work and study

If you are feeling up to it, you may still like to study whilst you are isolating. Teaching and learning is being delivered in-person and online—find out more. Contact your course coordinator if you are concerned.

Have a think about whether you have everything you need to be able to study at home. The University laptop loan scheme can help you access a computer if you do not have one.

Student Learning has online resources to support you while you are studying remotely.

If you are studying at postgraduate level, think about making a plan for regular communication with your supervisor.

Talk to your employer about what will happen if you have to isolate.

Our student services are also here to support you—find out how to get in touch.

Financial support

Financial support is available to you, for your immediate and longer-term needs. The University’s Hardship Fund can support you through financial difficulty.

The government’s Work and Income department are also offering support to those who are self-isolating. This includes:

  • applying for one-off financial assistance for immediate and essential needs (e.g. food, medicine, and some bills)
  • support dropping off essential items
  • linking you with community support groups

You can tell Work and Income if you need help by filling out their form. You can also call their free COVID Welfare Line on 0800 512 337.

Read more information on available financial support.

Filling your time

Isolation can be difficult, so make sure you have some things to occupy your time. Think about books, films and TV shows, games, exercising and other activities that you might like to do whilst you are at home.

Read the Unite Against COVID-19 information on what to expect from self-isolation, so that you have an idea of what will happen.

Health Navigator also has a list of advice and resources for supporting your mental health if you are diagnosed with COVID-19.

Getting support during self-isolation

As well as reaching out to friends, whānau, and neighbours, you may be able to get help from the student volunteer armies.

Find out more about the student volunteer armies.