For more detail about the virus, including the topics below, please visit the Ministry of Health Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) web page which will be regularly updated.

  • What is novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Current status
  • Advice for travellers
  • History of 2019-nCoV
  • Further information and resources
  • Advice for health professionals


In January 2020, Chinese authorities confirmed a new type of coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, which affects the respiratory system. The Ministry of Health is closely monitoring the situation and following guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Below is some general information regarding 2019-nCoV.

What is novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
Coronaviruses are a large and diverse family of viruses which includes the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Novel coronavirus is a new type of coronavirus, currently known as 2019-nCoV.

What are the symptoms of 2019-nCoV?
Symptoms of 2019-nCoV are similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza and do not necessarily mean that you have 2019-nCoV. Symptoms include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention. It is currently not known how long symptoms take to show after a person has been infected. Please refer to the Ministry of Health Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) web page for more information.

What can I do to protect myself?
As with all respiratory illnesses, people can take steps to reduce their risk of infection. This includes regularly washing hands, covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze (sneeze into your arm or a disposable tissue, not your hand), staying home if you are sick and avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

What if I think I have 2019-nCoV?
If you have flu-like symptoms, a cough or are having difficulty breathing
have been to China and any other areas with sustained outbreaks in the 14 days before you first became sick
you have been in close physical contact with someone with a confirmed or suspected case of 2019-nCoV while they were unwell; please call Healthline (free phone 0800 611 116) or your GP for medical advice.

Travel advisory update
In order to reduce the chances of 2019-nCoV spreading within New Zealand, additional border measures have now been implemented.

Anyone who has left or transited through mainland China from 2 February 2020 will be denied entry to New Zealand, with the exception of:

  • New Zealand citizens (including those from the three Countries of the Realm: Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands), permanent residents and their immediate family
  • Air crews who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

This also applies to passengers who are transiting through New Zealand, unless they are New Zealand citizens, permanent residents or their immediate families.


For more information on 2019-nCoV including please visit the Ministry of Health Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) web page.



Last updated: Monday, February 3, 2020

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