The Ministry of Health continues to hold the view that pre-departure testing is one element of a comprehensive strategy that includes measures such as quarantine on arrival.
As part of this strategy there is an understanding that there will be increasing requests for pre-departure COVID-19 testing. With this in mind we are sharing relevant information for individuals that require testing for this purpose.
Labtests perform COVID-19 PCR testing at their laboratory in Mount Wellington, Auckland. Please note that samples received at Northland Pathology are couriered to Auckland, often overnight, consequently we advise travellers to arrange for testing in Auckland.
Labtests endeavour to process samples for pre-departure testing (separate samples collected 48hours and then 24hours prior to departure) on the day they are received at their laboratory, however they cannot guarantee results will be available for request of green health QR code, or Health Declaration Form in time to allow passenger departure.
Read information about the testing process below:
Travellers will contact their medical practice to arrange testing. Payment will be made directly to the medical practice for all associated costs of testing, including the laboratory analysis.
Time-frame for Testing and Results
Pre-departure testing must be requested on or before 72 hours from when the result is required (not flight departure time). Testing must be requested with this advance notice to ensure that the sample can be tested and resulted ahead of flight departure.
Travellers must pay for their own tests, the cost of the laboratory analysis is $120+GST, this must be paid to the medical practice directly.
By requesting COVID-19 testing individuals are providing their consent for results to be sent through to the national result repository, this is a Ministry of Health requirement for all notifiable diseases.
Information for Travellers
People registering for repatriation flights will be made aware of requirements around pre-departure testing. Information is being provided to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) for Air New Zealand to pass on to travellers and the Ministry of Health will make information available on its website.
Individuals can also be directed to look at publicly available information on their destination country’s entry requirements or be referred to the relevant country’s foreign representative to New Zealand.
A list of foreign representatives can be found here.
For further queries regarding COVID-19 exit testing please contact the Ministry of Health COVID-19 hub at COVID-19Response@health.govt.nz, information can also be found on the Ministry of Health Covid-19 homepage.
Our laboratory is an Accredited Medical Testing Laboratories (SARS-CoV-2). For more information visit the IANZ accreditation directory.
What happens to my swab?
Your COVID swab will be couriered from Whangarei to Labtests’ laboratory in Mount Wellington, Auckland. Here it will be tested using accredited COVID-19 PCR methods.
If you live outside of the Whangarei region, your swab will be couriered to Whangarei and then on to Auckland. Please contact Northland Pathology on 09 438 4243 to discuss meeting our defined courier schedules. Turnaround times can be improved if you take your sample directly to the testing laboratory: Labtests, Specimen Services, 37-41 Carbine Road, Mount Wellington, Auckland.
Monday to Saturday, 9am to 4pm Labtests endeavour to process samples for pre-departure testing on the day they are received at their laboratory, however they cannot guarantee results will be available in time to allow passenger departure.
How do I get my results?
Your results will be sent to your healthcare provider. Please complete our Request for Results form so that you can receive your result in an email. This e mail will be password protected. Your password will be given to when you hand your swab in at one of Northland Pathology’s rooms.
PLEASE ENSURE YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A PASSWORD – IF NOT, CALL THE LABORATORY ON 09 438 4243 AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
What happens if I can’t open my email?
Call the testing laboratory on 09 574 7399 between 8am and 7pm Monday to Friday.