Blind Citizens NZ is available at all times, including when COVID-19 imposes strict limitations. Taking this approach enables us to function as routinely as we can regardless of the circumstances within which we may be required to operate. We can work from our office when we are unable to work from home and therefore be available for our members and anyone else from the blind community. We continue to work with Government and disability sector colleagues, providing advice with respect to current and emerging situations involving all aspects of COVID-19.

We can be contacted by phone on 0800 222 6940, or by email

We encourage you to check out the range of COVID-19 and Vaccination information available here. For face masks, unless you are exempt, these are required in both Red and Orange settings. We include the most recent which sets out guidance and context for businesses and the general public about people who are exempt from wearing face coverings, and updates to when these must be worn.

For each of the COVID-19 items, we do our utmost to provide the full suite of blindness alternate formats: Braille, Audio, and Large Print.

On this page

> How to get a Rapid Antigen Test
> How to use a Rapid Antigen Test
> How to report your Rapid Antigen Test Results
> Services and Support Contacts
> The COVID-19 virus and symptoms
> What happens if you test positive for COVID-19
> Delta Variant
> Help while you’re self-isolating
> Isolating at home
> Wearing a Face Mask
> Masks and Face Coverings
> COVID-19 Testing
> Testing for COVID-19

AstraZeneca Vaccine

Submitted: Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Categories: COVID-19

Find out more about the AstraZeneca Vaccine here.


Pfizer Vaccine

Categories: COVID-19

Find out more about the Pfizer Vaccine here


How to report your Rapid Antigen Test Results

Submitted: Monday, March 14, 2022
Categories: COVID-19

Your RATs should be reported if you test positive or negative. You can do this online or by phone. The information you need is here.

How to use a Rapid Antigen Test

Categories: COVID-19

Rapid Antigen Tests can be taken by yourself or under supervision. You’ll find great information here about how to use the RAT.

How to get a Rapid Antigen Test

Categories: COVID-19

Rapid Antigen Tests are available to members of the public for free if they develop symptoms or are household contacts of a case. More information here about how to get a RAT.


What happens if you test positive for COVID-19

Submitted: Friday, March 11, 2022
Categories: COVID-19

We all need to know what to expect if testing positive for COVID-19 and what this involves. Testing positive is nothing to be embarrassed about — it can happen to anyone. COVID-19 doesn’t care who it infects.

The COVID-19  virus and symptoms

Categories: COVID-19

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It affects your lungs, airways and other organs. Coronaviruses are from a large family of viruses that cause illnesses. The virus has mutated over time as it adapted to humans. This document contains useful information so do have a read.

Wearing a face mask

Categories: COVID-19

Wearing a face mask: Face masks are one way we can protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. You will find information here about when you should wear a face mask during Red and Orange, and situations where you do not need to wear one. There are people who are exempt from wearing a face mask – you will read more about these situations too. 


Testing for COVID-19

Submitted: Monday, February 28, 2022
Categories: COVID-19

You will find information about what happens when you get a COVID-19 test reading the information we have via Audio, Large Print, or if you have a Braille device then the Braille Ready Format will be for you. 


COVID-19 Testing

Categories: COVID-19

Useful information about getting tested, the different tests used in New Zealand, where you can be tested and remember, testing is free. 


Covid-19 Updates

Submitted: Sunday, January 9, 2022
Categories: COVID-19, Issues, News and Events

In this COVID-19 Updates (MS Word and PDF), you will find the following important information:

  • Life at Orange.
  • Life at Red.
  • What happens if you test positive for COVID-19?
  • Is your household ready if someone gets COVID-19?
  • Travel within New Zealand


The Delta Variant of COVID-19

Submitted: Monday, September 20, 2021
Categories: COVID-19

For information about the Delta Variant of COVID-19, you can access this information via the format that best works for you. We have files for Audio, Large Print, and Braille Ready Format (for use by blind people with a Braille device)


Isolating at home

Submitted: Friday, March 11, 2022
Categories: COVID-19

Learn more about when you need to isolate and for how long, and what self-isolation involves.


Help while you’re self-isolating

Categories: COVID-19

 If you need help while self-isolating  including medical and financial assistance, you’ll learn more about what is available and how to access assistance.

Services and Support Contact Details

Submitted: Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Categories: COVID-19

Knowing who to contact and how to do so for services and support during COVID-19, is important. Here you will find information ranging from emergencies and medical supplies to others such as about employment-related matters, animal welfare etc. You can select the file that best meets your informational needs from: Audio, Large Print, or Braille Ready Format (BRF) for blind people with a Braille device. 

Isolation advice for COVID-19 Contacts

Categories: COVID-19

As we unite to combat COVID-19, there will be times people will be asked to isolate. This is to keep the community safe, and will happen when you are in contact with a COVID-19 case. What you need to do depends on your risk of passing the virus to others. Information available here talks about what a contact is, what self-isolation means if at home, and what this means if you are in Managed Isolation and Quarantine. You can read more about Isolation here. We have Large Print, Audio and a Braille Ready Format (BRF) for blind people with a Braille device

Places of Interest

Submitted: Monday, September 20, 2021
Categories: COVID-19

When there is a COVID-19 outbreak in the community, the Ministry of Health will update their website and identify locations where confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been. These are known as ‘Locations of interest’. You can find out how to stay abreast of this information from either the Audio or Large Print files provided here. 


NZ COVID Tracer App

Categories: COVID-19

The NZ COVID Tracer app helps you protect yourself, your whānau, and your community by enabling faster contact tracing. You’ll find information here in Large Print, Audio, and Braille Ready Format File for blind people with a Braille device. You will also read about the Bluetooth Tracer App video which is audio described for blind people


Masks and Face Coverings

Categories: COVID-19

This document is intended to give clear guidance on the wearing of face coverings in public settings. Guidance is targeted at the three main groups of people affected by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Protection Framework) Order 2021 requirement for the use of face coverings and includes consideration of people who have a physical or sensory disability, mental health or otherhealth condition that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable. There is guidance and context for businesses and the general public about people who are exempt from wearing face coverings. Refer to the MS file for guidance and information. 

Wearing a mask or face covering helps keep you and others safe. They are particularly useful when physical distancing is not possible. Face coverings are only one part of keeping yourself and others safe. You can read more about masks and face coverings using one of these files: Large Print, Audio MP3, and Braille Ready Format for blind people with Braille devices. 

COVID-19 March 2020-December 2020

Submitted: Friday, March 20, 2020
Categories: COVID-19

 The following COVID-19 information is being reviewed for accuracy

We will endeavour to provide regular COVID-19 updates to help keep you informed. This includes where necessary, redirecting you to official websites. This means information you need, is always up-to-date. There is a dedicated Healthline 0800 number for COVID-19 health advice and information. The Healthline is free and available 24/7.

The number is 0800 358 5453.

Living at Alert Level 1

We all need to do certain things at Alert Level 1. You’ll find the information you need in the Large Print file or if you prefer audio, the MP3.

Downloads: (Large Print Docx), (Mp3)

Work and Income – Here to Help

Work and Income continues to help over the phone and online as much as possible, including having appointments over the phone 0800 559 009, where possible. You can use MyMSD to update your personal details, check your payments and apply for help with things like one-off costs for food. More information, check out the MS Word or MP3 file.

Downloads: (Docx), (Mp3)

Golden Rules for Businesses – Alert Levels 3 and 2

Everyone plays a part in keeping each other safe. Check out the golden rules for businesses at Alert Levels 3 and 2 respectively here – MS Word and MP3.

Downloads: (Docx), (Mp3)

Supported Decision Making

This guide is an introduction to supported decision-making. As we move through the levels in this COVID-19, this information reminds family, carers and supporters about their role when supporting people to make decisions for themselves. The guide describes what supported decision-making is, and what it isn’t, what the responsibilities of a support person (supporter) is, and the aspects of supported decision-making that make sure a disabled person is truly part of the community in which they live.

COVID-19 Ministry of Housing and Urban Development

The Government has made new rules to look after renters during COVID-19. You can read about these by selecting the MS Word File or PDF. Or you can listen to the MP3.

COVID-19 – Looking after your mental health and wellbeing

Here are some things you can do during Alert Level 4. You can find what works for you and keep doing it while you stay at home by listening to this MP3, or read the information here by selecting the MS Word file, or PDF.

This short video provides some information about your “bubble” and what this means during COVID-19

 Getting Food during Alert Levels 3 and 4

During Alert Levels 4 and 3, we will all still have access to essential services such as getting food from supermarkets and dairies. The following information tells you: 

  • where you can get food while we are at Alert Levels 4 and 3;
  • how you can get the food that you need if you are not able to leave your home ;
  • where to get help if you can’t find or afford food. 

Here is an MP3 file to listen to the information, or read this by selecting the MS Word File or PDF.

Here now are updates, and targeted COVID-19 information…

For latest updates issued by the Prime Minister, Director General Ministry of Health, and other officials, take this link

Information that is mainly for people and families who need health and disability support services, especially if you are over 70 years old, or have certain health conditions as listed on the Ministry of Health website is available at this link

If you want to find out more about Covid-19, its symptoms and how long it takes for these to appear, and how it spreads? You will find answers to these questions and more, at this Ministry of Health link

Information for disabled people and residential care providers, informed by Blind Citizens NZ and many other stakeholders across the disability sector is available at this link

Managing your Mental Wellbeing
– a great source of information at this link

Official websites to get more information…


A description of current handwashing advice created for blind people by Audio Described Aotearoa with assistance from the Auckland Branch of Blind Citizens NZ and individual blind contributors

One of the consistent pieces of advice we hear, to assist keep each other safe from COVID-19, is to wash our hands. Most of us know what to do and when, but do we? Audio Described Aotearoa (Kevin Keys, Nicola Owen and Paul Brown, with assistance from lots of blind people who now have lovely clean hands) have created this recording, and text description, that explains just how to wash your hands.