Pre-departure tests to enter New Zealand

Most travellers legally must have a negative COVID-19 test to enter New Zealand. Find out more about New Zealand's pre-departure testing requirements.

Most travellers must get a pre-departure test

Most travellers are required to have a negative pre-departure test result and approved documentation to enter New Zealand.

All travellers from Australia are now required to get a pre-departure test.

If you have received a COVID-19 vaccination, you will still need to take a test.

You are responsible for checking your chosen testing provider can provide you with acceptable pre-departure documentation to the specified standard required by the New Zealand Government.  Tests from free community testing stations may not be acceptable for travel clearance, so check before your test.

You need to have both your COVID-19 test sample taken and your result returned within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of your first international departure.

Why pre-departure testing is necessary

The Government has been monitoring overseas developments and is concerned about high rates of infection and new variants of the virus and their potential to spread more rapidly.

Pre-departure tests reduce the risk of infected travellers on international flights infecting other travellers.

Find out if you need a pre-departure test to enter New Zealand

Exemptions for pre-departure tests

Some people are exempt from the pre-departure testing requirements.

Approved pre-departure tests

The Director-General of Health has confirmed the following types of test are acceptable for all countries — except Australia and very high risk countries:

  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAAT), which includes PCR, RT-PCR and TMA, or
  • LAMP, or
  • antigen test (they may also be referred to as viral antigen tests).

Travellers from Australia are required to get PCR or RT-PCR pre-departure tests.

Travellers from very high risk countries — Brazil, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea — must have evidence of negative nasopharyngeal RT-PCR (PCR) test from an accredited laboratory. Travellers from Fiji, which is a very high risk country, do not need pre-departure tests.

Restrictions on travel to New Zealand from very high risk countries

All tests (including at-home tests) must be processed by a laboratory recognised in the country of origin as authorised or accredited to conduct tests. You are responsible for the costs associated with your test.

Find testing locations overseas

You can get tested at a range of places. We recommend you select a test provider carefully, to make sure you can get tested and get your results in time for your flight departure.

Make sure you check your chosen testing provider will provide you with acceptable pre-departure documentation to the specified standard required by the New Zealand Government. You are responsible for meeting any costs associated with your test.

All tests (including at-home tests) must be processed by a laboratory recognised in the country of origin as authorised or accredited to conduct tests.

Acceptable pre-departure documentation

You must make sure that the testing provider you choose can provide your test results with acceptable pre-departure documentation to the specified standard required by the New Zealand Government.

Free community testing stations often do not provide all the information required for travel clearance, so check before having your pre-departure test.

If your pre-departure documentation does not contain the required information, or is not in the required format, you may be prevented from boarding your plane.

Acceptable pre-departure documentation 

The New Zealand Government requires that all pre-departure tests contain the following information for travel clearance:  

  • traveller’s name
  • traveller’s date of birth and/or passport number 
  • date and time the test was conducted
  • name of testing lab
  • test type
  • test result

Information in other languages and alternate formats

Get information about pre-departure testing in other languages and alternate formats.

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