COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated travellers

Read more about testing requirements if you are unvaccinated and travelling domestically in Aotearoa or internationally.

Domestic travel

Some transport providers, may require you to show your My Vaccine Pass or a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding. Free rapid antigen tests (RATs) are available at participating pharmacies.

The tests will be available for travellers from any part of Aotearoa New Zealand who:

  • are unvaccinated, and
  • are over the age of 12 years and 3 months, and
  • do not have COVID-19 symptoms, and
  • need a negative test result to travel with a transport company.

Children under 12 years and 3 months do not need to get tested or have a My Vaccine Pass.


Image credit: Canva

International travel

You may need a negative COVID-19 test result to travel to Aotearoa NZ or other countries.

If you are travelling to Aotearoa New Zealand

Most travellers entering Aotearoa New Zealand must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 48 hours (for a PCR test) or 24 hours (for a RAT or LAMP) before the scheduled departure of your first international flight into the country. Tests from a community testing station may not meet the travel clearance requirements so check before you get your test.

Read more about pre-departure tests to enter Aotearoa NZ.

If you are travelling from Aotearoa New Zealand to another country

You can check the requirements of the country you are travelling to by contacting their local high commission, embassy or consulate in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Read more about pre-departure tests if you are leaving Aotearoa NZ.

Where can I get a rapid antigen test (RAT) before I travel?

In Aotearoa NZ, pre-departure rapid testing is available through some pharmacies. Not all pharmacies will be offering this service. For a list of participating pharmacies, see HealthPoint. 

How is a supervised RAT test done?

A supervised RAT test means that you will need to visit a Pharmacy and the test will be done by a pharmacy staff member.

The test uses a front of nose nasal swab to collect the sample for the test. Read more about rapid antigen tests.

How much does the rapid antigen test cost?

If you are travelling domestically in Aotearoa New Zealand the test is free – there is no charge for the rapid antigen test (RAT) at participating pharmacies.

If you are travelling internationally, you may need to pay. 

Can I get a supervised PCR test instead of a rapid antigen test?

In Aotearoa, travellers are still able to use a negative PCR test to meet any travel requirements, but it will take longer to receive your results. Also, using the alternative rapid antigen test will allow our laboratories to focus on processing PCR tests. 

References

How to get a COVID-19 test Unite against COVID-19, NZ 2022

Credits: Health Navigator Editorial Team..