Keep up to date with Aotearoa New Zealand’s response to COVID-19.
The traffic lights (COVID-19 Protection Framework) protect Aotearoa New Zealand from COVID-19, while allowing people greater freedoms.
Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by following the latest health advice and not sharing unreliable information.
Vaccination protects your child, your whānau and your community. The COVID-19 vaccine is free and available for everyone aged 5 and over.
Testing for COVID-19 and contact tracing are 2 important ways to help manage COVID-19 in Aotearoa New Zealand.
There is support and advice available if you test positive for COVID-19, and you need to self-isolate.
Information about travelling to, leaving and transiting through New Zealand.
When you should get a test, what you need to do, and how to report your RAT results.
What you need to know
A COVID-19 test is free if it is part of the public health response. This includes if you:
If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms you should get a test. If you are unsure, talk to your local healthcare provider or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
Check the list of COVID-19 symptoms
If you live with a person who has COVID-19, you need to get a test on their Day 3 and Day 7 of self-isolation.
Advice for Household Contacts
If you are a Close Contact, you do not need to get a test unless you develop symptoms.
Advice for Close Contacts
People at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 can get a free test from their doctor or community health provider. They will decide which type of test is best for you.
If you want to get a test for another reason — for example, because you are visiting friends or whānau — you can now buy a RAT at some retail outlets.
If you get COVID-19 symptoms again within 90 days of a previous diagnosis and:
If you have COVID-19 symptoms more than 90 days from a previous diagnosis you should take a RAT and follow advice for a first infection if you test positive.
There are 2 types of COVID-19 tests available to the general public in New Zealand.
COVID-19 test results and their accuracy | health.govt.nz (external link)
You are allowed to leave your home to get a COVID-19 test while you are self-isolating.
Healthpoint lists testing centres by area. You can also search for a location near you on a map.
Find a COVID-19 testing centre | healthpoint.co.nz (external link)
Requesting RATs to use at home is an easy step-by-step process. RATs can be requested on behalf of someone else. You will need access to a mobile phone to validate your order.
You will be issued an order number. You can then collect your RAT order from a collection site listed on Healthpoint, or have someone collect it for you.
Your doctor may offer COVID-19 tests. Call them to find out and follow their advice.
Test instructions vary depending on the brand. Many rapid antigen testing kits follow the instructions below, but not all. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
All RAT kits should be kept out of reach of young children and stored safely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
How to use a RAT
How to use a rapid antigen test (RAT) [PDF, 730 KB]
Approved RATs and how to use them | health.govt.nz (external link)
If you get a positive test result, you must self-isolate immediately and follow the advice for people who have COVID-19.
Your test result does not need to be confirmed with a PCR unless advised.
What steps to take if you have tested positive
If you get a negative test result and do not have symptoms, it is likely you do not have COVID-19.
If you have symptoms, stay at home and carry out another RAT 48 hours later. If your symptoms get worse, contact your local healthcare provider or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
It is possible for someone with COVID-19 to get a negative RAT result. This can be because there was not enough virus in the sample, or because the test was not carried out correctly.
If a result is failed or indeterminate, you must take another RAT. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how long to wait between tests.
Whether positive or negative, you should report the results of your RAT. You can do this online through My Covid Record or by calling the helpline.
How to report your RAT result
After your test, you must self-isolate until you receive a negative result.
You will get your results in a text message from 2328. It will take between 2 and 5 days.
If you test positive, the text message will provide information about self-isolation, support options and a 6-digit access code for the online contact tracing form.
18 May 2022
at 3:40 pm