Latest Update for Pre-Departure Travellers

COVID-19 tests required for pre-departure travellers

There continues to be an increasing number of international flights departing from New Zealand, including some destinations with a foreign government requiring COVID-19 clearance testing for departing passengers. 

The process to ensure passengers receive their results in a timeframe to enable them to depart remains unchanged – for operational reasons tests are required to be ordered 72 hours before departure. 

This testing interval is within the requirements of most foreign governments, however when a shorter testing interval (e.g. 24 – 48 hours) is required, passengers should be advised we cannot guarantee results will be available in time for them to board their flights.  

Note on the request form “Pre-departure COVID-19 Test” and include date and time of departure.  While this assists to identify these samples, it does not guarantee priority processing, particularly during periods when sample volumes are high, such as during the recent COVID surges.   

Do not call the lab for an urgent courier.  Turnaround time for results can be improved if samples are sent directly to the laboratory (e.g. delivered by taxi or the passenger themselves) to:

Wellington SCL Lab, Level 5 CSB, Wellington Hospital: Monday to Sunday – 24 hours/day.

Taranaki Pathology Services Laboratory, 1 Paraite Rd, Bell Block, New Plymouth: Monday to Friday – 8am to 4.30pm.