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COVID‑19 information

General advice

  • Get tested if you have COVID‑19 symptoms
  • If positive you must isolate for 7 days
  • Upload your RAT result on your My COVID app
  • If negative RAT and you still have symptoms – stay home until well, if you have to go out wear a mask. Repeat RAT while you have symptoms
  • Let someone know that you are unwell – College staff or flatmate

Household contacts

  • Household contacts do not need to isolate
  • If you are a household contact you should test daily for 5 days (RAT) from the day the person with COVID tested positive
  • Wear a face mask if you leave home during the 5 days of testing
  • If you test positive for COVID, you must isolate for 7 days

Where to get tests

  • RAT tests can be obtained online, and at numerous pharmacies and at Dunedin Immunisation Centre Te Puna Āraimate ki Ōtepoti
  • From 22 December, the Dunedin Immunisation Centre Te Puna Āraimate ki Ōtepoti at 153–155 Hanover Street (the former VTNZ testing centre) will offer PCR (COVID‑19) testing
  • If outside of Dunedin phone COVID‑19 Healthline 0800 358 5453 or your local GP
  • COVID‑19 testing is free, except for testing that is required for repatriation or overseas travel.
  • Find more information on the New Zealand Government's Unite Against COVID-19 website:

COVID‑19 vaccinations

  • Everyone in New Zealand aged 5 or over can get a free COVID‑19 vaccination. It does not matter what your visa or citizenship status is.
  • COVID‑19 vaccinations can be obtained at pharmacies, the Dunedin Immunisation Centre Te Puna Āraimate ki Ōtepoti at 153–155 Hanover Street (the former VTNZ testing centre), and some GP practices. Appointments are only required at GP practices, other sites are drop-in.
  • Please note Student Health is not providing COVID‑19 vaccinations.
  • From time to time the University's Occupational Health Team will hold vaccination clinics, the details of which will be advertised to staff and students.

For more information about vaccinations, visit the New Zealand Government's COVID‑19 website:

Unite Against COVID‑19

Important phone numbers

  • COVID‑19 Healthline 0800 358 5453 (within New Zealand)
  • COVID‑19 Healthline for Dunedin: 0800 VIRUS 19 (0800 847 8719)
  • Healthline 0800 611 116 (within New Zealand)
  • Student Health 0800 479 821 (within New Zealand)
  • Dunedin Urgent Doctors +64 3 479 2900
  • Emergency Psychiatric Services 0800 467 846 Option 2 (within New Zealand)
  • You can also free call or free text 1737 to speak to a trained counsellor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Emergencies dial 111


  • Masks continue to be required by students and staff in health settings. For our staff and students delivering or studying in health areas, health settings include hospitals, GPs including Student Health, clinical providers (with the exception of mental health clinics), pharmacies, community/iwi health providers and aged cared and disability-related residential facilities. More clarity on this requirement is expected over the next week or so.
  • The University is also maintaining the mandatory requirement for staff (and students where relevant) in the following groups to wear masks:
    • Staff in Disability Information and Support, as these staff work closely with students at higher risk of severe illness from COVID‑19
    • Researchers (staff and students) working with populations at higher risk of severe illness from COVID‑19 (e.g. people with disabilities or cancer patients)
    • Researchers (staff and students) involved in studying the COVID virus itself
  • The Government does not require masks in tertiary education settings outside of the above.

However, the University continues to highly recommend the use of masks in teaching spaces and settings where physical distancing is difficult to achieve.

They can also always be worn by those who feel more comfortable doing so and we would ask that decision to be respected by our community.


  • The University strongly recommends that all staff and students who are unwell, particularly those who have cold or flu-like symptoms, stay away from campus until they are well.
  • The Government still requires confirmed COVID‑19 cases to self-isolate for seven days.

Wellington campus information

At Wellington Hospital, including in the Ward Support Block, and WellSleep:

  • Wearing a medical mask is still mandatory in clinical and patient care environments. As the public need to wear a medical mask when visiting our health facilities, staff and students should also wear one when in these facilities.
  • Masks may be removed in individual offices and dining areas.

At our Brandon Street and Hanson Street buildings, as these are open plan office environments:

  • Use of masks is still encouraged but not mandatory.
  • Mask wearing is particularly recommended when working in close proximity with others or when large groups of people are meeting in confined spaces (e.g. in one of the meeting rooms).

In our teaching spaces, including use of rooms at Hanson Street for teaching and in our prefabs in the top carpark at Wellington Hospital:

  • Use of masks is highly recommended, particularly where physical distancing is difficult to achieve, in line with University guidelines.

For all staff and students:

  • Please respect other people's decision to wear masks.
  • Please carry a mask at all times, so you can put one on as needed, particularly in our clinical environments.

Christchurch campus information

In non-clinical/non-public areas, including the main University of Otago, Christchurch, building, staff and students use their judgement on the use of mask wearing according to the circumstances. For example, people gathering in larger groups that share a confined indoor space, where there is limited ventilation and limited physical distancing, may consider wearing a mask. People sharing an office or meeting room with someone who is more vulnerable to infection or immunocompromised, may also consider wearing a mask.

In line with Whatu Ora Waitaha guidelines, when in the hospital, primary care settings or a University of Otago, Christchurch Clinical Research Centre with patients:

  • Wearing a medical mask is still required in clinical/patient care environments.
  • As the public need to wear a medical mask when visiting our health facilities, staff (and students where relevant) should also wear one when in these facilities.
  • Please be respectful towards people who continue to wear a mask in a non-clinical setting. It is recommended that you always carry a mask, so you can put one on as needed.
  • *For Specialist Mental Health staff and students: in all inpatient areas and areas where consumers are receiving care (i.e. community appointments, home-visits, transporting people) staff and students are encouraged to wear a surgical mask. This is for staff, student and consumer protection. Discretion may be applied in cases where masks impair your ability to communicate effectively.

International students

New Zealand's borders are open. Visa applications to study in New Zealand are open.

The University of Otago warmly welcomes new and returning international students from across the globe.

Study options, applying and preparing for Otago

Information about international student study options, applying, preparing for Otago and contact details are found on our International Students webpages.

Travel information

Travel information is found on the New Zealand Government COVID-19 website.

Postgraduate students

Graduate research candidates

The University of Otago is working to support its graduate research candidates as the complex situation following the COVID‑19 outbreak develops.

COVID‑19 information for graduate research candidates

Taught postgraduate students

This information is for postgraduate students undertaking research dissertations, projects, or creative research components for their degrees. These tend to be 40–60 points in taught postgraduate programmes (but are sometimes worth fewer points), and are core components in some honours degrees, postgraduate diplomas, and taught masters' degrees.

COVID-19 information for taught postgraduate students

Support for students

You should continue to contact AskOtago for advice and assistance if you need welfare support due to contracting COVID.

These services are available for you to access online:


If you are a Student isolating due to COVID-19 you can request a food/care package to help you get through.

Request a care package

Support services available in the community

Visit for ongoing updates

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