Testing requirements after arriving in New Zealand

Most travellers entering New Zealand must take 2 rapid antigen tests (RAT) after they arrive. Find out what you need to do.

Take a RAT the day you arrive and on Day 5 or 6

You must take 2 RATs after you arrive if you are:

  • travelling to New Zealand for a holiday or for work
  • a New Zealand citizen or resident returning home.

You will be given a pack of rapid antigen tests (RATs), with instructions on how to use them at the airport.

You can find more information about the testing requirements on the COVID-19 Health Hub.

Testing requirements after arriving in New Zealand | Health Hub (external link)

If you leave New Zealand before your Day 5 or Day 6 test

You do not need to take another test, but you should check any pre-departure testing requirements of the country you are travelling to.

Who does not need to self-test on arrival

  • Children under 6 months do not need to be tested.
  • Travellers arriving from Niue do not need to self-test on arrival if they have taken a direct flight to New Zealand.

Report your RAT results

You must report both RAT results, whether you test negative or positive.

You will receive an email from the Ministry of Health with instructions on how to report your result.

You can also call the COVID-19 Test Results line with your result. The call centre is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

Call the COVID-19 Test Results line on:

You may have to pay for your call if you are using an international SIM — check with your phone provider.

You must self-isolate if you test positive or your result is invalid

If you return a positive RAT result, or the result is invalid you must self-isolate at the place you are staying while you are in New Zealand.

You must also get a PCR test to confirm your result. 

If your PCR is positive you must self-isolate for 7 days.

If your PCR is negative, you do not need to continue to isolate. This is because a PCR result is more accurate than a RAT result.

How to self-isolate

Isolation means staying in your home or holiday accommodation. Do not go to shops or any other public places.

Follow the self-isolation advice on the COVID-19 Health Hub. If you have travelled to New Zealand by air, the people travelling with you will also need to isolate.

If you are a visitor to New Zealand, you may need to pay for any extra accommodation costs.

We strongly encourage everyone travelling to New Zealand to get comprehensive travel insurance which includes COVID-19 cover.

Self-isolation requirements for travellers | Health Hub (external link)

Getting a follow-up PCR test

You must get a PCR test from a community testing centre or healthcare provider if your RAT:

  • is positive
  • fails to show a result
  • result is invalid.

If you have reported your positive RAT, you will receive an email with a form for a PCR test. You can print the form or show it on your mobile device when you go to the community centre or healthcare provider.

You may be asked for your National Health Index (NHI) number when booking your PCR test. If you are not a New Zealand citizen or resident, the testing centre will create you one.

PCR tests for overseas travellers are free.

PCR tests if you have recently arrived in New Zealand | Health Hub (external link)

If you test positive after Day 6

If you have travelled to New Zealand for a holiday or other temporary stay and test positive after being here for 7 days or longer, follow the advice on the COVID-19 Health Hub.

You must:

  • isolate for 7 days — you should have a plan for this
  • source your own accommodation and pay for this
  • pay for any healthcare costs.

Self-isolation requirements for travellers | Health Hub (external link)

Advice if you have COVID-19 | Health Hub (external link)

Reschedule your travel plans

If you or someone you are travelling with tests positive for COVID-19 while in New Zealand, you will not be able to return home or travel onwards until you have completed your 7 days of isolation.

You should also check with your airline about any regulations they may have.

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