Pre-Departure Supervised Rapid Antigen Testing Service

For travelling overseas from New Zealand

Pre-Departure Supervised Rapid Antigen Testing Service

For travelling overseas from New Zealand

Pre-Departure Supervised Rapid Antigen Testing Service

Many overseas destinations and airlines now require documented proof of a supervised negative COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test result prior to international travel departure.

If you need a COVID-19 test prior to departure, you can organise it through participating pharmacies or other primary care providers (general practice, GP, or other providers of pre-departure tests for travel).

 

How will I know if I need a test prior to leaving New Zealand?

You should confirm that a COVID-19 supervised rapid antigen test result is an acceptable form of proof of COVID-19 status for travel to your specific destination. You can check the requirements of the country you are travelling to, by contacting their local High Commission, Embassy or Consulate in New Zealand. Alternatively, check with your airline carrier, such as Air New Zealand.  

 

When should I get my test?

The test needs to be taken as close as possible to your date of travel — check the timing that applies to your country. However, the COVID-19 supervised Rapid Antigen Test is usually required to be taken within 24 hours prior to the international travel departure time.

 

Will I have to pay for my pre-departure rapid antigen test? 

Yes - pre-departure testing for international travel is not covered by the public health response. This means it is a private service and is not funded.

 

What if I have COVID-19 symptoms? 

Do not come into the pharmacy for a Rapid Antigen Test.

Prior to undertaking the Supervised Rapid Antigen Test Service for international pre-departure travel, the pharmacy staff will screen you. You must answer no to all the below three questions, only then the pharmacy staff member can progress with the test - 

  • if you are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19
  • if you have been advised to self-isolate or
  • if you have been identified as a household contact

 

If you answer Yes to any of the above questions above, the pharmacy staff will be unable to perform the rapid antigen test and you will be advised to leave the pharmacy and self-isolate and following current Ministry of Health guidance.

 

Do I need to book for this service, or can I walk into a pharmacy? 

It is recommended you should book in advance, book online, enquire through the website, or phone in advance to make sure there is capacity to see you for a supervised rapid antigen test. Availability will change with demand.

 

Do I need to bring anything to the test?

The pharmacy staff must verify your identity by requesting your passport or driver’s license. The unfunded Supervised Rapid Antigen Test Service for international pre-departure travel cannot be completed without confirming the customer’s identity. 

 

How long will it take to get my results?

RAT tests do not rely on a laboratory. Results are available in about 15 – 30 minutes.

 

What if my test is negative?

Proof of a Supervised Rapid Antigen Test Result for Travel form can be issued. The pharmacy staff will provide you with the Proof of a Supervised Rapid Antigen Test Result for Travel form to use that you can use as proof of a negative COVID-19 test result.

Remember to take your negative test results with you to airport check-in. You may need to show your results to customs or immigration on arrival at your destination.

 

What will happen if my test is positive?

If the test is positive, your pharmacist staff member will talk with you about what happens next. You will not be able to travel. 

 

What does an invalid test mean?

The test will need to be redone, but not for 24 hours, which may disrupt your travel plans.

 

Contact us for more information on supervised unfunded RAT for International travel

Content supplied from the Ministry of Health