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Quarantine-free travel with Australia suspended

 29 July 2021


Quarantine-free travel from Australia is being suspended. There will be a window for people in Australia (except NSW) who ordinarily live in New Zealand to return on green flights from tonight for seven days (until Friday 30).


  • Returnees will not need to go into managed isolation (expect those from New South Wales). 
  • In New South Wales managed return flights are continuing and travellers will enter managed isolation.
  • After this time, eligible travellers in Australia will need to go into an MIQ facility for 14 days if they want to return to New Zealand.
  • The suspension will be reviewed in September.


The Delta variant has changed the COVID-19 risk profile. Contact tracing alone is unable to get ahead of this variant, so restrictions are absolutely necessary to stamp it out. The fact that there are now multiple community clusters and three states in lockdown in Australia mean suspending travel is the right thing to do to keep COVID-19 out of New Zealand.


What people in Australia can/should do


Act quickly, and organise coming home as soon as possible. Book a return green flight home, or secure a managed return flight from NSW.

For advice on returning from Australia, you can:


Meanwhile, the COVID-19 vaccination programme in the Whanganui region now includes people in Group 3 and so far more than 22,400 doses have been delivered.


Group 3 comprises those aged 65 or over; those with relevant underlying health conditions; Māori and Pasifika aged 50 and over; pregnant women; and the disabled and those who care for the disabled. This group represents more than 23,000 members of our community.


Those who are in this group are invited to phone 0800 888 479 or email covid19@wdhb.org.nz to make an appointment.


It should be emphasised that the vaccination clinics are NOT a walk-in service, and appointments need to be booked by phone or email. 



Some people phoning the 0800 booking number have been unable to get through. Whanganui DHB asks for people to be patient and advises that those who cannot get through should leave a message – name, date of birth and contact number – and they will be called back within a week.


It is only necessary to call once and leave one message. You will be called back and, remember, everybody over the age of 16 will get the Pfizer vaccine … it will just take a while.


As well as starting on Group 3, we continue to vaccinate those in Group 2.



We administer the Pfizer vaccine, which has been through robust safety tests before being approved by MedSafe. The vaccine is safe, efficient – and free.


There will be enough vaccine to protect everyone in Aotearoa aged 16 and over.

Visit our COVID-19 vaccine rollout page

Visit our COVID-19 update page for case numbers and more

How does the vaccine work? | Ministry of Health NZ

Learn more below about how the Pfizer mRNA vaccine teaches your body to recognize the COVID-19 virus, and what happens to the mRNA once it's done its job.




Unite Against Covid website

Ministry of Health website


Get your COVID-19 vaccination at Te Oranganui

He Hāpori Ora Thriving Communities launch

We are pleased to officially release WDHB’s He Hāpori Ora Thriving Communities Strategic Direction 2020-2023 strategy document and video.


We will continue to action the focus areas outlined in our strategy to ensure that the people of the Whanganui District Health Board rohe are thriving. We continue to take heart that our strategy aligns to the indicative position announced by government through the recent New Zealand Health Service announcement.


COVID-19 Alert Level 1 - Health and Hospital Services

All of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1, but it is important that we remain alert and continue to follow the health and safety procedures that have served us so well. 


If you are unwell 

 If you’re sick, stay home. Do not go to work or school. Do not socialise. 

  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor to get advice about being tested. 
  • COVID-19 testing is free 
  • If you have been told to self-isolate you legally must do so immediately. 

 COVID-19 symptoms include: 

  • a new or worsening cough 
  • a fever of at least 38°C 
  • shortness of breath 
  • sore throat 
  • sneezing and runny nose  
  • temporary loss of smell
  • muscle aches and fatigue

Keep track of where you’ve been 

You should keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen. This helps with rapid contact tracing if it’s required. 

How to keep track of where you’ve been 

Face coverings

Face masks are now mandatory on all public transport in New Zealand and on all domestic flights. They are also encouraged when out and about in crowds or among strangers.

Hospital services at Alert Level 1 

Primary health services are operating as normal but we encourage everyone in our hospital to maintain high hygiene standards 

such as cough etiquette, washing your hands regularly, and maintaining social distancing when possible.


Visiting Whanganui Hospital at Alert Level 1    


  • Consider your need to visit the hospital if you are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms. Please call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you are concerned about COVID-19 symptoms or visit the community based assessment centre (CBAC) on the Whanganui Hospital campus
  • If you need emergency care, should go to Whanganui Emergency Department or Whanganui Accident Emergency on the Whanganui Hospital. We are here for you during all COVID-19 Alert Levels.
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitiser regularly
  • Keep a record of where you have been using the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Tracer app to scan QR codes at the hospital and keep track of your movements. The more we scan, the safer we will be
  • Sometimes our staff may need to limit visitor numbers. 

Whanganui Hospital visiting hours are from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.                                                                                                                                              

Please visit Unite Against Covid or the Ministry of Health website for national information about Covid-19. 

Whanganui Hospital visiting hours are from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.       

Remember: If you are unwell, please stay away and phone Healthline or your GP for advice.


COVID-19 testing: Community based assessment centre (CBAC)                     

The CBAC on the Whanganui Hospital campus, which provides tests for COVID-19, will be open from 8am to 12noon, Monday to Friday.



Testing at the CBAC is only for: 


  • people with COVID-19 symptoms 
  • people who have visited a location of interest
  • people who have been advised to get a test by Healthline. 


Outside these times, please call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or go to Whanganui Accident and Medical (WAM) which is open 8am to 9pm, seven days a week or call 06 348 1300 for WAM.


The hospital CBAC is a drive-through/walk-up facility. No appointment is needed and there is no charge.


COVID-19 testing: General practices 

General practices (GPs) in Raetihi, Taihape, Bulls and Marton can assess their rural communities – please ring first.                                                           



  • The total number of people with confirmed Covid-19 in the Whanganui Region is nine (9). 
  • All confirmed have now recovered. There have been no cases since April 2020.
  • Please visit Unite Against Covid or the Ministry of Health website for national information about Covid-19.