Testing and returning to work during Omicron

At each of the three phases to the Omicron response, there are different requirements for businesses, including testing and how long cases need to isolate for. This is to better enable critical workforces to continue operating through a widespread community outbreak of the Omicron variant.

At each phase of the Omicron response, there are different isolation and quarantine requirements for cases and contacts.

At Phase One:
• Anyone with symptoms should isolate and get a test
• Cases must isolate for 14 days (release by health officials)
• Close contacts must isolate for 10 days (with tests at days five and eight, although if symptomatic then must test immediately)

At Phase Two:
• Anyone with symptoms must isolate and get a test
• Cases need to isolate for 10 days (self-release after day 10 if asymptomatic for 72 hours)
• Close contacts need to isolate for seven days (with a test on day five)
If a close contact is vaccinated and asymptomatic, they may be able to continue to work:
• as a Bubble of One, if they are not customer facing and follow strict health protocols
• through the Close Contact Exemption Scheme, if they work for a critical service.

At Phase Three:
• Anyone with symptoms must isolate and get a test
• Cases need to isolate for 10 days (self-release after day 10 if asymptomatic for 72 hours)
• Close contacts need to isolate for seven days (and get a test if symptomatic).
If a close contact is vaccinated and asymptomatic, they may be able to continue to work:
• As a Bubble of One, if they are not customer facing and follow strict health protocols
• Through the Close Contact Exemption Scheme, if they work for a critical service.

For more information and to check if your business is eligible to apply for the Close Contact Exemption Scheme visit the business.govt.nz website

As always if you have any questions please contact our team.

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