Hero photograph
Photo by Elena Husband

Community access to masks


The Government is increasing accessibility to masks for people in the wider community. More masks are being provided to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to protect people who are at higher risk of more severe illness if they contract COVID-19. You do not need to have COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms to get free masks.

Free medical masks

You can get free medical face masks by:

  • picking them up from testing centres and collection points alongside your free rapid antigen tests (RATs)
  • visiting a participating pharmacy
  • talking to a participating GP or alternative community healthcare provider.

To order RATs online visit the Ministry of Health website.

Rapid antigen testing (RAT) – Ministry of Health

Alternatively, if you’re unable to order RATs online or visit a participating healthcare provider in person, call 0800 222 478 and select option 3.

For a list of testing locations with free face masks visit the Health Point website.

COVID-19 testing – Health Point

Free P2/N95 particulate respirator masks

In addition to medical masks, P2/N95 particulate respirator masks are also available from the providers mentioned.

P2/N95 masks will be prioritised for those people at higher risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19. This includes people:

  • with compromised immunity
  • with high-risk medical conditions
  • who are older
  • who live in aged care facilities
  • who are pregnant
  • with a disability
  • who live with mental health conditions or addictions
  • of Māori and Pacific ethnicity
  • who smoke.

For information about people considered at higher risk, see the Ministry of Health website.

Higher risk people – Ministry of Health