Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for NZEI Te Riu Roa members

Please note: this page is not an official source of information for how schools, kura, kindergartens and early childhood centres should operate under the traffic light system. If any of the information on this page appears out of date or conflicts with official advice from the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Education, please follow the official guidance. 

If you are and NZEI Te Riu Roa member and you need advice on a specific matter, please contact our Member Support Centre. You can find their hours and contact details here.

Updated advice on COVID-19 reinfections

You may have seen that the Ministry of Education has updated its advice on COVID-19 reinfections in response to the public health advice the government shared after this week's Cabinet meeting. You can find updated Ministry advice at this link.

Below are some of the basic points in the Ministry advice:

If a person tests positive for COVID-19 again 29 days (or later) after a previous COVID-19 infection, the person is required to self-isolate again for seven days.

For employees with a collective agreement entitlement to disregarded sick leave such as teachers, principals, support staff and kaiārahi i te reo, disregarded sick leave will be available for the period of self-isolation. For support staff and kaiārahi i te reo, this means that generally one week of disregarded sick leave is available. For teachers and principals, two weeks of disregarded sick leave are available in line with the previous Ministry practice. There are some cicumstances where the Ministry acknowledges that a longer period of disregarded sick leave will be available, but at the moment these circumstances are relatively rare.

Please remember that schools can access additional relief teacher funding to help cover the relief costs for absent teachers. The four-day rule (lowered from the usual eight-day rule) only applies to the teacher's first four days of absence in 2022. So, if a teacher has a reinfection and needs to isolate for a second (or subsequent time), additional relief teacher funding will usually be available to the school from the first day of absence. For non-teaching staff, funding support is also available and you can find further information here.

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For the latest COVID-19 guidance, please check

All advice on this page is based on current information from Government agencies. For the most up to date information about COVID-19 and its impacts on your work, please visit the Ministry of Education website directly here.

Now more than ever is a time to pull together and support one another. Stamping out COVID-19 requires all our effort! Some of this is basic - remembering to wash our hands thoroughly and regularly - and some of it has been more challenging, like self-isolation. Ultimately, we can get through this together - but we need to be careful, intentional, and remember to look after one another.