COVID-19: Advice

Staff and students should not attend school if they are unwell. If you have symptoms of cold or flu, you are advised to stay home and take a RAT and, if you return a positive test or have a negative test but still have symptoms, stay home until your symptoms are gone and you return a negative test. 

If you are a household contact of a confirmed positive case, it is recommended that you should test and return to school if you have no symptoms and a negative RAT result. By getting a test you are helping to keep others safe. 

PPTA encourages members to get vaccinated, but you cannot be required to get vaccinated. The school can ask you whether you have been vaccinated, but you do not have to disclose your status. If you do not, they may assume that you are unvaccinated. Information about your vaccine status cannot be shared without your consent. 

Absence with COVID now ordinary sick leave 

 COVID-related absences after 15 August 2023 can no longer be claimed as disregarded sick leave because self-isolation is no longer legally required. This applies whether you are sick or if you need to care for a dependent family member who is sick with COVID.   

You will claim sick leave or domestic sick leave, as per leave for other illnesses.  

If you are on sick leave you should not be working at home.  

If you are continuing to work from home you should not be recorded as on leave.   

If you took leave before 15 August 2023 because of the legal requirement to self-isolate, you can still claim that period of leave as disregarded sick leave and have your sick leave credited back.   

If you don’t have enough sick leave to cover the absence you can ask the employer to provide paid discretionary or paid special leave.  

Contact your PPTA Field Officer if you have issues with leave, or payment for leave, related to COVID-19.  

Ministry of Health recommendations 

The Ministry of Health recommends that people with COVID-19:   

  • isolate for at least 5 days, and until they feel well,  
  • wear a mask if leaving the house, and  
  • should not visit a healthcare facility (except to access medical care), aged residential care facility, or have contact with anyone at risk of severe illness from COVID.  

Board may have their own requirements about attendance when you are testing positive for COVID.  

Health and Safety Reps 

Workplaces are required to have Health and Safety Reps who are legally entitled to paid training and paid time for these roles. Health and Safety Reps represent school workers on health and safety matters, including COVID-related issues and work to ensure that schools are safe workplaces. If your school does not currently have a Health and Safety Rep, you can share any concerns with your branch chair. 

Learn more about Health and Safety Reps at Health and Safety | PPTA 

Payments for Day Relief Teachers 

Relief teachers can claim sick leave for days they are away with COVID if they were booked to work on those days and if they have a remaining sick leave balance. 


Vaccine information  

COVID-19 Self-isolation and managed isolation

COVID-19 vaccines | Unite against COVID-19 ( 

COVID-19 vaccination: Your questions answered | Unite against COVID-19 ( 

NZ Vaccine Facts | Unite against COVID-19 ( 

What you need to know about the Pfizer vaccine | Unite against COVID-19 (   

COVID-19 vaccine Q&A #1: How were the COVID-19 vaccines created safely and quickly? - YouTube 

Vaccine advice if you are pregnant or breastfeeding | Unite against COVID-19 ( 

Sarah's story: Deciding to get the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant - YouTube 

Vaccine advice if you have a health condition | Unite against COVID-19 ( 

Latta, Brewerton and Petousis-Harris answered questions in a Facebook live event. 

Bloomfield, Turner, Wiles and Prescott answered questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine. 

Forbes and Elder discuss some key concerns and hesitancies. 

Vax Facts with Māori Doctors: Jordan, Reid, McKree-Jansen, Brewerton (specialists in Māori health). 

A rangatahi panel with Dr Jason Tuhoe  kōrero about the vaccine. 

Straight Up with Dr. Lily Fraser – The Panel. 

University of Auckland vaccinologist Petousis-Harris looks at 10 vaccine myths circulating on social media. 

You can find accurate and reliable information about COVID-19 vaccines from trusted sources including:   

You can keep up to date with current information and frequently asked questions by following the above organisations’ social media channels, or speaking with your health provider.    

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Last modified on Wednesday, 20 March 2024 12:04