If you can ensure more than one-metre distance from people with possible Covid-19 and any surfaces or items they may touch – facemasks and gloves are not recommended.

That's part of the latest advice the Ministry of Health has offered on protective equipment for people in essential jobs that may require physical or close contact to the potentially deadly virus.

It comes after 83 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in New Zealand overnight, bringing the country's total number of cases to 451.

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Officials said the most important action was regular hand washing.

"If the nature of your job means you may touch surfaces or items also touched by people with potential Covid-19 symptoms, you may consider wearing gloves, however face masks are still not recommended.

"If you may be unable to maintain more than one-metre contact distance from people with potential Covid-19 symptoms, facemasks and gloves are recommended when this contact is likely to occur.

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On the Ministry of Health website, it said these recommendations were a guide only and workplace settings should consider their ability to maintain the one metre rule.

"In general, surgical and medical masks prevent the dispersal of droplets by an infected patient and the inhalation of droplets if within one metre of a coughing individual."

If a customer or employee shows signs of being unwell such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should be politely encouraged to leave as soon as possible and to seek help by calling their GP (doctor) or call Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website