These groups have increased access to free COVID-19 testing under the public health response.
Last updated: 15 September 2022
- Testing Information in other languages
- Priority Populations and Community Providers
- Testing if you have a disability
- The COVID Healthcare and Emergency Service Workforce
- How to get free RATs
- International arrivals
- Unite against COVID-19 - health advice and information in other languages
- Ministry for Pacific Peoples COVID-19 resources
Organisations that support our priority populations have been provided with free RATs.
The impacts of COVID-19 are felt differentially across New Zealand communities. Māori and Pacific communities, those living with disabilities, and those in lower socio-economic groups and crowded or institutional settings bear a greater portion of both health and economic impacts and risks.
These people have experienced adverse impacts and are considered at higher risk of the effects from COVID-19 outbreaks in New Zealand. They experience poorer outcomes, higher death rates and increased health, economic and social inequities.
Community providers have been a critical part of responding to COVID-19 outbreaks. They have demonstrated that they are essential in delivering local and regional approaches that reach priority populations in New Zealand.
A list of community providers doing supervised RATs is available on Healthpoint.
- Guidance for Community Providers
- How to report RATs on ESR Eclair
- RATs supervised testing guidance (PDF, 112 KB)
- Find out when you should have a test
Disability sector providers are being supplied with RATs to distribute through their networks.
Community providers have been supplied with RATs to help people that are unable to leave their home get access to them.
Another option is to contact your GP, who will know you and your needs, If your GP can’t provide a test, they will be able to tell you who can.
You can also check Healthpoint for testing advice.
More information about testing in alternative formats:
Other organsations that support our priority populations and have been provided with free RATs are the healthcare and emergency service workforce, including people who work in the health sector, GPs, pharmacies, Police, Corrections, first responders, and Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
Also included are high density vulnerable population providers, such as aged residential care facilities, hospice and other residential healthcare facilities, and youth justice facilities.
If you work for one of these organisations and need a test to go to work, you will be given RATs by your employer.
You can request RATs:
- on the Request a COVID-19 testing kit website. Follow the step by step instructions for how to order your RATs. To use the website, you will need to have access to a mobile phone to validate your RAT order. You can also request RATs for someone else.
- by phone. Ring 0800 222 478 and choose option 3.
You will be issued an order number. You can then pick up your RAT order from a collection site or have someone collect your order for you (make sure they have your order number).
Targeted Rural Service
Almost 95 percent of households live within a 20-minute drive from a published RATs collection site. There are also local RAT access points to meet the needs of various populations.
An additional service has been set up to further support the remaining five percent of households that are outside a 20-minute drive from a RATs collection site.
These largely rural households can contact 0800 222 478 to confirm their eligibility.
If eligible for a home delivery, a local provider will work with the household to supply RATs from the public health response through community providers, or via local rural delivery networks.
After flying to New Zealand you are encouraged to complete a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) on day 0/1 and day 5/6 after arriving, even if you have no COVID symptoms (children under 6 months old are not asked to test).
All positive RAT results should be reported.
- If you have a National Health Index number, you can upload your positive RAT result on My Covid Record
- if you don’t have a National Health Index number, please report your positive result by calling the COVID-19 Test Results Line (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week) at:
You must self-isolate for 7 days after testing positive, or after you first noticed any COVID symptoms. You are also encouraged to get a PCR test from a community testing centre or healthcare provider. PCR tests provide valuable information about potential new variants of COVID-19 in New Zealand. Please tell the person who does your test that you have recently been overseas. You can find out where to get a PCR test at www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19. You can leave self-isolation to get a PCR.
If you develop symptoms more than 7 days after arriving in New Zealand, please do another RAT. You are not asked to do another PCR test.
People arriving in New Zealand by ship are not asked to test, if they don’t have any COVID symptoms.