Coronavirus: How New Zealand's self-isolation rules compare to other countries

Self-isolation may seem fairly straightforward - practising social distancing, working from home and cleaning regularly are just a few of the instructions provided by the Ministry of Health. While New Zealand's self-isolation guidelines are fairly standard, the process can differ from country to country.

The Ministry of Health says people in self-isolation are still permitted to go outside - do the gardening or go for a run for example - as long as close contact with others is avoided.

As of Monday, Healthline is monitoring 2875 people in self-isolation. To date, 7070 have completed the 14-day isolation period.


In Singapore, every individual who is given a Stay-Home Notice (SHN) must remain home at all times for the 14-day self-isolation period.

People entering the country are issued an official hard-copy notice at Singapore's checkpoints if they are required to self-isolate.

Authorities are maintaining stringent measures to ensure people are adhering to the country's self-isolation protocol. 

Text messages are sent at various times of the day to check in with self-isolating individuals, while authorities may make unannounced visits to their places of residence. 

All self-isolating people will have to provide updates on their location via their mobile phone's GPS function. 

If people receive an unscheduled phone call from authorities, they must take photos of their surroundings to verify their whereabouts.

South Korea

People in self-quarantine in South Korea are advised to monitor and record their symptoms unti they are released.

Individuals are told to take their temperature each morning and evening and record any changes in their symptoms through a monitoring form.

A public health officer from a local public health centre is required to contact a self-quarantined individual twice a day, at minimum. 

The public health officer must be contacted before a person decides to go outside "to see a physician or for other inevitable reasons", according to

South Korea encourages the use of masks in the home when contact with family members or housemates is inevitable. It also advises people to wear masks when coughing.


UK residents and visitors are advised not to leave the house once in self-isolation, according to the National Health Service (NHS).

According to the UK government website, people showing symptoms of infection must not leave their place of residence for seven days after their symptoms began.

The NHS advises that people in self-isolation should maintain at least a two-metre distance between themselves and others.

Britain is preparing to self-isolate the elderly, the most at-risk demographic, for an extended period of time. People aged 70 and over may be required to self-isolate for up to four months.


Australian residents and visitors in self-isolation are also required to stay at home and avoid public places. People are advised to stay in one room and use their own bathroom as much as possible. 

Going outside is only permitted if the property has a private garden or balcony, but wearing a mask is advised. 

Although penalties vary from state to state, Australia's state leaders have warned that heavy fines will apply to those who break self-isolation protocol. Those caught breaching self-isolation orders may be fined AU$6000 to $AU$50,000 with possible jail time. 


Italy is currently in a nationwide lockdown. Movement and domestic travel is only permitted for work requirements, health needs or reasons of necessity, according to the government's website.

People with no valid reasons to travel must remain at home. People under quarantine or who have tested positive are "strictly forbidden" from going out.

For other residents, reasons of necessity include purchasing supplies, food, newspapers and medicines, outdoors exercise; caring for non-independent elderly loved ones; walking pets and visiting or picking up children in accordance with divorce or separation arrangements - as long as close contact with others is avoided. 

All work requirements and health needs must be proven by self-declaration, using the printed forms provided by law enforcement officers. Any people found to have made untruthful statements will be subject to criminal prosecution.

New Zealand's current self-isolation guidelines include:

  • limiting contact with people other than the family members of companions you travelled with (for those returning from overseas travel through affected countries)
  • avoid having visitors 
  • asking friends, family or delivery services to drop off food and supplies
  • avoiding face-to-face contact closer than two metres for more than 15 minutes
  • not sharing crockery, cutlery, towels, pillows or beds with others in the home
  • maintaining regular cleaning and sanitising of surfaces and household items
  • working from home if possible 
  • washing your hands frequently 
  • practicing good coughing and sneezing etiquette
  • avoiding communal/shared areas or cleaning them well after each use
  • going outside (to do gardening or go for a run, for example) is permitted if close contact with others is avoided.