COVID-19: Testing Plans and Testing Guidance

The overall Testing Plan gives effect to 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. The Auckland Outbreak Testing Plan states who should seek testing during Alert Levels 4 and 3. Testing Guidance gives details to clinicians on who to test and when to test them.

Last updated: 9 October 2021

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Testing Guidance for the health sector

The Testing Guidance tells the health sector who to test, and why and when to test them. It is updated based on the latest knowledge about the virus and its symptoms, and on current conditions and Alert Levels in New Zealand. 

Download the key messages

Effective from 11 September 2021:

Download the testing guidance

Detailed clinical guidance for health professionals:


Testing Plans

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

The Plan is supplemented by Outbreak Plans when needed.

The overall 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 national testing plan

Download the Auckland Outbreak Testing Plan

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