COVID-19: Testing plan and testing guidance

The testing plan aligns with the surveillance strategy and sets out how we’ll support the elimination strategy. A robust testing plan to detect cases early is a key pillar of surveillance.

Last updated: 27 September 2021

Testing guidance for the health sector

The testing guidance for the health sector is regularly updated to reflect current conditions. This is to make sure our stakeholders can appropriately implement the testing plan. It provides detailed guidance to the health sector, on a regular basis, to ensure appropriate implementation of the testing plan.

The guidance:

  • reiterates key messages
  • takes into consideration any new surveillance findings and
  • ensures the appropriate focus for our testing resources.

Download the key messages

Please note: the key messages contained within the current testing guidance were updated with effect from 11 September 2021.

Download the testing guidance

COVID-19 Testing Guidance for the health sector replaces the COVID-19 Testing Strategy updates which were regularly updated and shared with the health sector. This change was made to align with the updated Aotearoa New Zealand COVID-19 Testing Plan.


Testing Plan

The Testing Plan provides clear and flexible guidance for a sensitive detection system for COVID-19.

The Testing Plan takes a systematic risk-based approach to testing, focused on having the most sensitive detection system. It defines four settings for testing:

  • in other countries (outside the border, ongoing)
  • at the border (ongoing)
  • in the community (ongoing)
  • testing for contact tracing and cluster management (when required).

The Testing Plan supports the Surveillance Strategy. Detailed testing guidance for the health sector is regularly updated in the COVID-19 Testing Guidance for the health sector.

Download the testing plan

Previous version

Aotearoa New Zealand’s COVID-19 Testing Plan replaced New Zealand’s national testing strategy for June-August 2020, also known as the Mid-Term National Testing strategy.

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