Tips for whānau - staying safe while getting out

If you and your whānau are at home, here are some tips on how to survive yourself and how to survive each other.

Published: Wednesday, 25 March 2020 | Rāapa, 25 Poutūterangi, 2020

Minimise your time outside the whare and minimise physical contact with other people.

We have to go to the shop or to go to the pharmacy. So, what is the risk of potentially picking up the virus from picking up something from the shelf?

This is why the handwashing is so important.

We can go outside and do these things. As long as we keep it to essential trips and stay two metres away from people we can shop for groceries or pick up medicines. 

We need to wash our hands as soon as we get back in the house. Because the virus can survive on surfaces for up to three days there are things that we can do.

For example, on cardboard the virus survives about 24 hours so if you’re bringing shopping in, you could leave your non-perishables for a few days before you use them, or you can wipe them down, even with just a soapy cloth.

Do a bigger shop if you can – so you can leave time for your groceries to sit for a few days. If you’re worried about fresh food you can give it a soapy wash and rinse it off.

So, there are things we can do to protect ourselves.

What we mustn’t do is assume we can go and have kai with friends or pop round to visit other whānau.

You can go for a walk or a jog with your whānau.

Don’t go boating as the coast guards – the services that look after you – also need to be looked after and you shouldn’t do anything to put yourself at risk.

If everyone gets the message that we’re all important, the lockdown will work. Every person who is compromised means we’re going to have to do this for longer.

From Dr Siouxsie Wiles, a microbiologist from Auckland University, from an interview on RNZ this morning 25 March 2020


Supermarkets and dairies need your help to keep them operating during the lockdown. Here are a few tips for shopping in-store:

  • Stay away if you are feeling unwell
  • Practice social distancing when in store and staying 2m away – that’s about two very big paces or a bit longer than a taiaha
  • Use Paywave if you’ve got it, instead of cash
  • Touch surfaces as little as possible while you’re shopping
  • Shop with your eyes and only touch products if you intend to buy them
  • Nominate one person only from your whānau to shop
  • Make a list and spend as little time in-store as possible