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When you should get a test

You may need to get a test if you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, if you live with a confirmed case, if you’re travelling, or if mandatory testing applies to your job. 

If you are unwell 

If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms you should get a test. If you’re unsure, a health professional can let you know. 

If you don’t have symptoms, you should only get a test if you’re told to by a health official — for example, if you are a household contact of a confirmed case.  

COVID-19 symptoms 

To get a COVID-19 test, call: 

  • Your doctor or nurse 
  • Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453 
  • your iwi health provider, or 
  • a community-based testing location. 

If you are a household contact of someone with COVID-19 

If you live with a person who has COVID-19, you need to get a test.  

Close contacts do not need to get a test unless they develop symptoms. 

If you’re travelling 

Some transport providers, such as Air New Zealand and Cook Straight ferry operators, may require you to show your My Vaccine Pass or a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding. The test must be taken within 72 hours before your journey. 

If you are travelling to New Zealand 

Most travellers to New Zealand must have a negative pre-departure test. This must be: 

  • a polymerase chain reaction(PCR) test administered no more than 48 hours before the scheduled departure of your first international flight to New Zealand, or 
  • supervised rapid antigen test (RAT) 24 hours before the scheduled departure of your first international flight to New Zealand, or 
  • a supervised loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) test 24 hours before the scheduled departure of your first international flight to New Zealand. 

You still need a test even if you have been vaccinated for COVID-19. 

Learn more about pre-departure tests to enter New Zealand 

If you are travelling from New Zealand to another country  

If you’re travelling from New Zealand to another country, check the requirements of the country you are travelling to by contacting their local high commission, embassy or consulate in New Zealand.  

If you need to attend a court 

If you need to attend a court of law in person and are asymptomatic and unvaccinated, you will need to produce a negative COVID-19 test result. 

If you’re required to for work 

Some people are required to undergo regular testing due to the risk associated with their work. This includes the risk of getting COVID-19 as well as potentially spreading it to others (e.g. healthcare workers and border workers). Your employer will tell you if you need a test. 

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