May 11, 2020

Covid-19 Marth 19th to Schools/Agents

Dear partners: The global outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is top of mind for individuals and organisations across the world.

Dear partners:

The global outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is top of mind for individuals and organisations across the world. Host Families NZ hopes you are keeping yourself and your family safe and away from the virus.

Following the Ministry of Health’s guidelines, all new arrivals from the 16th of March will need to self isolate for 14 days apart from category 2 countries. Please check the link here to find out more information from the Ministry of Health.

In response to this new policy, we are sending you this email with our plans around Coronavirus (CONVID-19). Host Families NZ wishes to work closely with you and provide as much support as we can. We will let you know if there are any further updates.

Can Host Families NZ (HFNZL) still accept new bookings?

Yes, however, we strongly suggest that you find a place for your students/interns/visitors to be self-isolates for 14 days from arrival before moving into a homestay. HFNZL has limited families who can take students during the self-isolation period, however, this number is subject to change daily. We must understand that the family may cancel the booking at any time if any concerns are raised.

Due to this uncertainty:

  • If you have students over the age of 18 arriving, they will need to be self-isolated in a homestay, please inform the student/intern/visitor that this booking may cancel at any time and they will have to look for their alternative accommodation.
  • If you have students that are under the age of 18 arriving, they will need to be self-isolated in a homestay, please have an alternative emergency accommodation to cater for the cancellation. HFNZL will only process the booking if you have this emergency accommodation in place.
  • If the student needs to be self-isolated in a homestay, a fee will be charged to cover the extra cost

What to do with confirmed bookings?

HFNZL staff are contacting all confirmed families and will let you know immediately if there are any cancellations. At the same time, please inform us as soon as you can if your students/interns/visitors’ arrival details have changed or decided not to come.

Can HFNZL still book the Airport pick-up for the student?

Yes, however, this policy may subject to change. We will inform you if there are any changes.

The airport transfer company will take below measures to ensure a safe environment:

  • All vans will be sanitised and the drivers will use a cleaning spray before and after each route of students going in and out of it.
  • A hand sanitizer will be available to use in each van for both passengers and driver
  • They appreciate passengers wearing a mask, if handy.
  • Drivers will only carry a limit of 3 to 4 passengers per trip as the health government wants 1-metre distance between people wherever possible.
  • They recommend that passengers wash their hands and face as soon as they arrive in the country, If they need to cough or sneeze, cover mouth or nose, Please ask them to carry a Handkerchief

What does the student need to do if they are self – isolating in a homestay?

The student must follow the guidance from the Ministry of Health. They have to:

  • Minimise close contact with the homestay family members, which means no hand-shake, no hugs, no greeting kisses
  • Avoid face-to-face contact closer than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes
  • The students/interns/visitors should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, pillows or other items with other people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water, place them in the dishwasher for cleaning or wash them in your washing machine
  • Please advise the student to buy their own hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes in advance  The student/intern/visitor can go outside, but they need to limit their contact with others. It is okay to go for a walk, run or ride a bike, as long as they avoid people who aren’t self-isolating
  • The student/intern/visitor would not be allowed to use public transport, taxis or similar transport methods during their 14-day period. They can use public transport after they first arrive in New Zealand for the sole purpose of returning to home but cannot use it after that. They can use their own transport means (car, bike etc) whenever they wish.
  • The student/intern/visitor would need to use good hygiene which means they need to 1) Wash their hands for more than 20 seconds with soap and wash them often 2) Cover their coughs and sneezes

For more information, please refer to the Ministry of Health website for updates. You must explain to the student clearly and make sure the student understand and agree on all terms and conditions.

What to do if the student feels unwell?

  • If the student/intern/visitor becomes unwell while in self-isolation, they would need to contact the MOH Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
  • The symptoms of COVID-19 are cough, fever, and shortness of breath.  If the student needs to call emergency services, please advice the Healthline official that they are in self-isolation.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,
Host Families NZ Team

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