A number of police are in self isolation as the Covid-19 pandemic takes a bigger grip on New Zealand - but the organisation is committed to keeping the public safe during these unprecedented and trying times.

Police are among the country's essential services and are also working with the Ministry of Health to monitor people in self-isolation.

Alongside routine frontline duties police are being deployed to airports, supermarkets and other public areas to ensure people are not in any danger.

Coronavirus: Strict health and safety procedures for frontline emergency services staff

The Herald has learned a number of staff have self-isolated in the last few weeks with potential exposure to Covid-19 or people who might be affected.


While police would not confirm numbers due to privacy, they did explain to the Herald what they are doing to keep staff working in the community safe from the deadly virus.

"The health and safety of our staff and the public is paramount and we are following Ministry of Health advice on the best way to keep our people and community safe," a spokesperson said.

"As this is a developing situation we are continually considering our operational practices and approach in relation to Covid-19."

Police have a National Pandemic Plan which has been updated this month in direct response to coronavirus.

"We continue to refine that plan as we learn more about how best to respond to Covid-19 related issues," said the spokesperson.

"We are working with our partners to ensure the system is well-prepared and able to continue to provide policing services as normal."

At the coal face, staff working in the community had been given extra information about managing risk and safety.

"This is a developing situation and we are continually considering our operational practices and approach in relation to Covid-19," the spokesperson said.


"Our staff always apply our risk assessment framework in any interaction with the public.

"Where appropriate our staff will use personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves.

"In addition to this staff are also following Ministry of Health guidelines in regard to physical distance and good hygiene practices."

The spokesperson said a number of police staff were working from home.

"This is having no impact on our staffing of the frontline," they explained.

"In the current environment the safety of our people and the public is our number one priority."

Police officers monitoring people who are self-isolating have also been advised on safety measures.

"Staff conducting compliance visits have been provided with advice about how to keep themselves safe," said the spokesperson.

"This includes maintaining a safe distance, and carrying out standard risk assessment for each visit."

Last week Fire and Emergency New Zealand outlined its safety plan for staff to the Herald.

"Our priority during this pandemic is to continue being able to respond to emergencies throughout the country, while keeping our people, and the community safe," said chief executive Rhys Jones.

"We have procedures in place for our crews if they are called out to the home of a patient with coronavirus.

"Our people have been advised to wear suitable protective clothing, safety glasses and masks when responding to any patients with viral symptoms or coughing."

Jones said FENZ, like police, had a pandemic plan that was being followed.