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If you're leaving Tāmaki Makaurau this summer, remember ‘Mask, Scan, Pass’ throughout your journey and stay at home if you're feeling unwell.
“It’s essential that anyone who is feeling under the weather with any COVID-19 symptoms - even mild ones - before a trip away does the right thing by getting a test before they leave,” says Fepulea’I Margie Apa, Northern Region Health Coordination Centre Lead (and Counties Manukau Health CEO).
“If you and your whānau are symptom-free and planning to travel, it’s important to be prepared. Make sure everyone has a mask, hand sanitiser, the NZ COVID Tracer app on their phone, and their My Vaccine Pass downloaded or printed out.
“You’ll also need to think about what you will do if you have COVID-19 symptoms, or test positive for COVID-19 while you are away from your normal home and care networks. If you can, pack some extra kai (food) and essential supplies, such as medication, just in case and think about what else you might need to organise if this happened.”
Testing services will be operating throughout the country over the summer holidays. For up-to-date information on testing locations in Auckland, visit www.arphs.health.nz/covid19test(). For up-to-date info on all testing locations around the country, visit https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19/(). You can also call Healthline on 0800 358 5453
People who test positive for COVID-19 while away on holiday will be assessed by a member of the public health team and, where possible, will be asked to drive home again. “If you get COVID-19 while away on holiday, and you can safely drive home to self-isolate, you’ll be asked to do so. You should drive directly to your home, making as few stops as possible and minimising your contact with other people,” says Apa.
“Travelling home, however, might not be possible or practical. If you’ve travelled by public transport, or if you’re too sick to drive, public health teams will help you to make different arrangements. This might mean staying where you are to isolate, or being transported to alternative accommodation or a local hospital, depending on your circumstances.”
It’s also important to remember that different regions may have different COVID-19 Protection Framework (or the traffic light system) settings. “Think about where you are going, and how your plans might be affected if the region you are in is in a different setting, or enters a different setting while you are there” says Apa. “Have a backup plan up your sleeve to ensure you and your whānau stay safe.”
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