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COVID-19 Pre-departure testing

COVID-19 Pre-departure testing

Most travellers must now have a negative pre-departure test result and supporting documentation to travel overseas. Testing can be accessed through our Test to Travel service as well as at various medical practices in the region. 24-hour turnaround times can only be guaranteed when using our Test to Travel service and are dependent on the demands of the public health response.

Read information about the testing process below.

Test Process

You can now book and pay online to get your pre-departure test with Southern Community Laboratories. Our new Test to Travel service is available at our Filleul Street, Dunedin collection clinic.

Learn more or start your booking here >>

Travellers can also contact their doctor or medical practice to arrange pre-departure testing. If you are not registered with a doctor or your doctor does not provide pre-departure testing, you can use the Healthpoint website to locate a practice that anyone can access. If your test is collected by a doctor or medical practice, payment must be made directly to the medical practice for all associated costs of testing, including the laboratory analysis. Your test is sent to our laboratory for testing and results are electronically submitted back to your doctor or medical practice. It is up to your doctor to provide you with your results.

If you book and pay directly online using our Test to Travel service, you will receive your results in the form of a verified Travel Certificate, which are sent directly to you in an email.

Time-frame for Testing and Results

24-hour turnaround times can only be guaranteed when using our Test to Travel service and are dependent on the demands of the public health response.

If booking through your medical practice – travellers must contact their Medical Practice (GP) to arrange pre-departure testing as soon as travel plans are confirmed. The test needs to be taken as close as possible to travel commencing (check with the High Commission, Embassy or Consulate for the timing that applies to the destination country).  It can take several days for test results to be available, but it could be longer, so people need to ensure they don’t leave it too late, especially around the weekend.

Costs

Pre-departure COVID testing is not publicly funded and must be paid by the traveller.

If booking and paying directly through Test to Travel, the sample collection and laboratory analysis for a PCR test is a single-fee of $175 incl GST. See the Test to Travel website for other options and express fees.

Travellers receiving their test from a doctor or medical practice must pay the whole fee directly to the medical practice. The cost of your test is set by the medical practice and includes our fee for the laboratory analysis.

Consent

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.

Accreditation

Our laboratory is an Accredited Medical Testing Laboratories (SARS-CoV-2). For more information visit the IANZ accreditation directory.

Further Information

For queries relating to the laboratory testing process please contact info.commercial@aphg.co.nz