Rapid antigen testing (RAT)

Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are currently Aotearoa New Zealand’s primary testing tool for COVID-19.

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Rapid antigen testing (RATs)

Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are currently Aotearoa New Zealand’s primary testing tool for COVID-19. RAT results are available quickly – usually in 20 minutes or less.

If someone at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness is a household contact, and has a negative RAT for COVID-19, a more sensitive PCR test may be needed. A health professional can advise you on the right test to take in your situation.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and get tested. If your RAT result is negative but your symptoms continue or worsen, continue to stay at home and take a further test 48 hours later.

If you are a household contact of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, it is recommended that you  take a daily RAT test for 5 days from the day the first person in your household receives a positive result. If any of your results are positive, then you must isolate for seven days and follow public health advice.

All COVID-19 testing for those with symptoms and/or who are household contacts is free. If you need a COVID-19 test for international travel you will need to pay for this.

The following resources show if you need a test, how to take a RAT and how to report your RAT result:

Information and resources on RATs are also available in different languages

How to get free RATs

How to take a RAT

For videos and factsheets for each type of rapid antigen test available in New Zealand see the approved rats and how to use them section

Recording your RAT result

You should report the results of your rapid antigen test (RAT) whether you test positive or negative. You can do this online through My Covid Record.

Having trouble with My Covid Record?

If you are having trouble using My Covid Record, you can report the results of your RAT over the phone by calling 0800 222 478 and choose option 3. If you have recently arrived in New Zealand, call 0800 432 010 — if you are calling from a New Zealand phone number ― or +64 9 954 6118, if you are using an international SIM.

Report for someone else

You can also report a RAT result for someone else through your own My Covid Record account. To make a report on behalf of someone else you will need their NHI number, full name and date of birth.

If the person you're reporting for doesn't have an NHI number call 0800 222 478 and choose option 3.

Testing positive

If you get a positive rapid antigen test (RAT) result:

  • this does not need to be confirmed with a PCR unless advised.
  • you do not need another test before you end your isolation period.

If you still have symptoms after your seven day isolation period has ended, you are advised to stay at home until 24 hours after symptoms resolve.

A small number of specific workplaces such as healthcare settings, may require a negative RAT result before their employees return.

People with underlying health conditions or who have COVID-19 like symptoms that are getting worse after a previous COVID-19 diagnosis should seek advice from a health practitioner or Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms

Even if you test negative you should stay at home until 24 hours after symptoms resolve. We also encourage people to continue to wear masks, physically distance where possible and maintain good hand hygiene.

Buying RATs

You can now also buy RATs at many retail outlets. Any RATs sold in New Zealand must be approved by the Ministry. See Ministry approved RATs for more information.

RATs for sale don’t come from the public health response supply. They will be sourced from the private market who will also set pricing and distribution.

Selling RATs to the public is regulated under the Commerce Act 1986, the Fair Trading Act 1986 and the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993.  

Find more information about buying RATs on the Consumer Protection website.

Disposing of RATs

When you are ready to dispose of your RAT:

  • place the test and any other contaminated material, such as swabs, fluids and bottles, into the plastic bag provided, or another bag
  • seal the bag and place it into your general household rubbish bin, NOT in your recycling bin
  • you can recycle the cardboard packaging and instructions.

Read more on the Ministry for Environment website

Travellers arriving by air   

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.

 

Approved RATs and how to use them (as at 26 May 2022)

All RAT devices should be kept out of reach of young children and stored safely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Ministry of Health recommends always following the manufacturer’s instructions for using RAT devices, as not all brands are the same. You can watch a video explaining how to use some of these tests from the links in the table below.

More information on taking a RAT is available on Unite Against COVID-19

The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Point-of-care Tests) Order 2021 came into force 22 April 2021. This order prohibits a person from importing, manufacturing, supplying, selling, packing, or using a point-of-care test for SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 unless the Director-General of Health has:

  • authorised the person’s activity or
  • exempted the point-of-care test from the prohibition.

Rapid antigen tests that are exempted and authorised for use in New Zealand are listed in the table below and published on the New Zealand Gazette

Any person can import, manufacture, supply, sell, pack, or use the approved RATs listed below.

Applications to add a new RAT device to the approved Ministry of Health list can be made via the Epidemic notice and Orders section

The Ministry of Health continues to evaluate new applications and any updates to the authorised list is published by gazette notice and included in the below table.

Product name(s) 

Manufacturer (country) 

Sample type(s) 

Product configuration 

Video and PDF instructions for use 

Roche SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test (SD Biosensor) 

SD Biosensor (Republic of Korea) 

 

Nasal, nasopharyngeal swab 

Professional or self-test of any package size 

PanBio COVID-19 Ag Rapid 

Abbott Rapid Diagnostics Jena GmbH (Germany) 

Nasal, nasopharyngeal swab 

Professional or self-test of any package size 

CareStart COVID-19 Antigen 

CareStart COVID-19 home test

Access Bio Inc (United States of America) 

Nasal, nasopharyngeal swab 

Professional or self-test of any package size 

Atomo COVID-19 Antigen Test 

Access Bio Inc (United States of America) 

Nasal, nasopharyngeal swab 

Professional or self-test of any package size 

CLINITEST Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test 

Healgen Scientific Limited Liability Company (United States of America) or Zhejiang Orient Gene Biotech Co., Ltd (China) 

Nasal, nasopharyngeal swab 

Professional or self-test of any package size 

Healgen Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test and Orient Gene Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test 

Healgen Scientific Limited Liability Company (United States of America) or Zhejiang Orient Gene Biotech Co., Ltd (China) 

Nasal, nasopharyngeal swab 

Professional or self-test of any package size 

BD Veritor System for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2 and BD kit for rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 (visually read) 

Becton, Dickinson and Company (United States of America) 

Nasal swab 

Professional or self-test of any package size 

Sofia SARS Antigen FIA Test kit with Sofia and Sofia 2 analyser 

Quidel Corporation (United States of America) or Puritan Medical Products Company LLC (United States of America) 

Nasal swab 

Professional or self-test of any package size 

Ecotest COVID-19 Antigen Nasal Test Kit

Assure Tech (Hangzhou) Co Ltd (China) 

Nasal swab or nasal pen 

Professional or self-test of any package size 

Please note the Ecotest SARS-CoV2 test is not recommended for use in children under the age of 2 years

STANDARD Q COVID-19 Ag Test 

STANDARD i-Q COVID-19 Ag Home Test 

SD Biosensor (Republic of Korea) 

Nasal, nasopharyngeal swab 

Professional or self-test of any package size 

GenBody COVID-19 Ag Test 

GenBody Inc. (Republic of Korea) 

Nasal, nasopharyngeal swab 

Professional or self-test of any package size 

BIOCREDIT COVID-19 Ag Home Test RapiGEN Inc. (Republic of Korea) Nasal Professional or self-test of any package size

FlowFlex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test

ACON Biotech (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd. (China)

Nasal

Professional or self-test of any package size

Zybio SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Assay Kit

 Zybio Inc. (China)

Nasal swab

Self-test of any package size 

  • Zybio SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Assay Kit instructions for use 

StrongStep SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test

Nanjing Liming Bio-Products Co., Ltd (China) Nasal swab  Professional or self-test of any package size 

CLUNGENE COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test

Hangzhou Clongene Biotech Co., Ltd (China) Nasal swab Self-test of any package size

INDICAID COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test

 


·  

PHASE Scientific International, Ltd. (Hong Kong and United States of America) Nasal swab Self-test of any package size
SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Kit (Colloidal Gold) Goldsite Diagnostics, Inc. (China) Nasal swab Self-test of any package size
CTC Biotech Inc, (United States of America) Nasal swab Self-test

AllTest SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test

 

Hangzhou Alltest Biotech Co Ltd, (China)

Nasal swab

Professional or self-test of any package size

JusChek SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test

 

Hangzhou AllTest Biotech Co., Ltd. (China)

Nasal swab

Professional or self-test of any package size

BeRight SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test

Hangzhou AllTest Biotech Co., Ltd. (China)

Nasal Swab

Professional or self-test of any package size

Gold Standard Diagnostics (GSD) SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test

Hangzhou AllTest Biotech Co., Ltd. (China)

Nasal swab

Self-test of any package size

Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) tests

LAMP tests utilise a molecular amplification technology for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA, similar to a PCR test. They can be more sensitive than rapid antigen tests because they amplify critical parts of the viral target.  

Lucira Check-It COVID-19 

The Lucira Check-It COVID-19 Test is a battery-powered device that fits in the palm of your hand, with no separate instrument or reader. Results from the test are provided in 30 minutes or less and displayed via LED so they can be self-administered and interpreted. 

Product name(s)  Lucira CHECK-IT COVID-19 Test Kit and Lucira COVID-19 All-in-One Test Kit 
Manufacturer (country)  Lucira Health, Inc. (United States of America) 

Sample type(s) 

Nasal swab 
Product configuration  Self-test of any package size 
Approved 8 June 2022

Full Exemption of Certain COVID-19 Point-of-care Tests Under the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Point-of-care Tests) Order 2021

Other Molecular Point-of-Care Tests approved for use 

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