As an essential emergency service, St John is continuing to operate our emergency ambulance operations and Patient Transfer Services at all alert levels in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the move to Alert Level 1 all St John services are operating. Please see below the latest information to keep you updated on any changes to our services.

We are working very closely with the Ministry of Health and we recommend you follow their guidelines and advice about keeping yourself and others safe.  

Visit to learn the simple steps you can take to unite against COVID-19 and unite for recovery.

If you are feeling unwell, call your GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice and information. In the event of an emergency call 111 for an ambulance. 

As part of our comprehensive pandemic plan we prioritise:   

  • Protecting our people (so we can continue to be there for the public)
  • Making sure we can maintain delivery of critical services  
  • Continuing to provide services to the community to the best of our ability

At Alert Level 1, St John has returned to business as usual, while maintaining our ability to escalate should the situation change. 

Our Customer Service Centre continues to operate, between 8:30am - 5pm Monday to Friday, and 8:30am – 12:30pm Saturday. Please contact our team by emailing or calling 0800 ST JOHN (0800 785 646) for any general enquiries and further information on our services.

Here’s how we are keeping our patients, customers, supporters and communities safe:

Is the St John emergency ambulance response affected?

We are here to step forward and help the country and, as an essential emergency service, St John is well positioned to respond to a pandemic like COVID-19.

We continue to provide emergency ambulance services throughout New Zealand. St John triages all 111 calls to determine the urgency of the patient's condition. We aim to send the most appropriate ambulance to the patient in greatest need as soon as possible.

St John ambulance officers frequently deal with infectious diseases and to protect our patients and our people, we follow best practice clinical guidelines, including wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when attending patients with suspected COVID-19.  

We will continue to ensure contaminated surfaces and equipment are cleaned or safely disposed of in biohazard bags and keep the ambulance environment as safe as possible for patients and staff.  

Is there any impact on hospital Patient Transfer Services?

St John continues to operate its Patient Transfer Services. Our drivers are following Ministry of Health guidelines to keep patients and themselves safe. This includes increased hygiene and cleaning in our vehicles such as wiping of seats, door handles and steering wheel.

Is my St John First Aid course still running?

All St John First Aid training courses are operating as normal at venues right across the country.

At Alert Level 1, while class numbers return to normal and physical distancing is no longer required, we will continue our focus on health and safety. This includes maintaining good hygiene practices to ensure you feel comfortable in your learning environment.

  • Hand sanitiser will be readily available to participants
  • Breathing into the manikins will be optional for the time being

If you feel at all unwell or have a cough on the day of the course, please support our efforts to protect others and reschedule your course for another day (free of charge).

Online alternatives are still available, including the Online Mental Health First Aid course, First Aid Refresher blended learning course and the St John Online First Aid course.

Please note, as per our standard terms and conditions, there are no refunds for First Aid. 

Is my St John Medical Alarm affected?

St John Medical Alarm services are operating as normal.

Our Telecare representatives are able to visit our customers to respond to medical alarm activations in the same way as before the COVID-19 pandemic.

We will be recording details of anyone present at customers’ homes we visit, to assist the Government with contact tracing, should the need arise.

What about St John services at Events?

St John Event Health Services are back to business as usual.

Due to the volume of postponed events now being rebooked, we advise booking early.

Although there are no restrictions to gathering under Alert Level 1, we ask event organisers to consider following the Event Sector Voluntary Code 2020, in order to keep participants, spectators, and workers safe.

More detail about the Event Sector Voluntary Code and advice for event organisers is available in this information sheet.

Contact the team by calling 08004EVENTs or emailing

Can I still use St John Health Shuttles?

All St John Health Shuttles are operating as per usual, except for Blenheim, which will resume services on 1 July 2020.

Is St John still delivering its Community Care services?

At Alert Level 1, St John Community Care services are resuming service delivery on a case by case basis, as and when our partner facilities are ready to have volunteers back in the workplace. The following services are operating:

  • Friends of the Emergency Departments (FEDs)
  • Hospital Friends
  • Community Carers
  • Therapy Pets

Our Caring Caller service has continued to operate throughout all alert levels.

Is the St John Youth programme still running?

St John Youth remains online for all of Term 2. Work is now being done within St John’s regional teams to address a return to face-to-face divisions locally.

Does St John still need donations and what would the funds go towards?

St John is a charity and only part funded by Government. Our charitable status means we continue to need to fundraise throughout the year to ensure our frontline emergency ambulance service has the right equipment and resources to enable St John to be there for all New Zealand communities.

Like many organisations and charities throughout New Zealand, we have been greatly impacted by COVID-19 including direct loses in fundraising and commercial income. We are grateful for the generosity of New Zealanders and organisations who support us with donations, fundraising events and by purchasing St John products and services.

Will first aid be taught in schools?

St John’s community educators have resumed face-to-face delivery of the St John in Schools programme in classrooms, for a koha, however, St John is still offering virtual delivery for any schools or groups that would like that mode of delivery.