COVID-19 Pre-Departure Testing

COVID-19 Pre-Departure Testing

The Ministry of Health has advised laboratories and PHOs that COVID exit testing for repatriation to other countries pre-departure will not be funded by the NZ government from 22 June 2020.

People registering for repatriation flights departing NZ will be made aware of any requirements around pre-departure testing by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and airlines.

Read information about the testing process below:

Test process

Travellers will contact their medical practice to arrange testing. Payment must be made directly to the medical practice for all associated costs of testing, including the laboratory analysis.

If patients require a copy of their results to be emailed directly to them, this information will need to be captured on the test request form.

Time-frame for testing and results

Travelers must contact their Medical Centre 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 (High Commission, Embassy or Consulate for the destination country will be able to confirm timing required). 

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.

If a traveller presents with less than 72 hours before they require their result, the Medical Centre should contact the laboratory to discuss options available.


Travellers must pay for their own tests. The following tests and corresponding costs (inc. GST) are:
$141.00 – Covid-19 PCR test
$98.00 – Serology IgM (for travel to China only)
$88.00 – Serology IgG
$14.30 – Bleeding fee (serology only)

Patient to pay entire swabbing and testing fee to Medical Centre. SCL to invoice Medical Centre at end of the month to recover the laboratory testing fee. The Medical Centre may have additional charges.

Referrers will be guided through the process when they select the COVID test in the laboratory e-order system.

Clinical details

Manual Request Form
Medical Practices must include the wording ‘Pre-departure COVID-19 Test’. This allows the laboratory to identify the purpose of testing.

If using eOrders, select “Novel Coronavirus” and in funding category select “Patient to pay” (second option as below).

Patient 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. There is no requirement for a separate consent form to be completed for this purpose.

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.

Further information

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