COVID-19: Testing Strategy and Testing Guidance

The COVID-19 Testing Strategy for Aotearoa/New Zealand overall Testing Plan gives effect to the Surveillance Strategy and sets out how we’ll support the Elimination minimisation and protection Strategy, as part of the COVID-19 Protection Framework. The Strategy is a national guidance document on testing, which should be used to determine local and regional testing plans. Testing Guidance gives details to clinicians on who to test and when to test them. The Auckland Outbreak Testing Plan states who should seek testing during Alert Levels 4 and 3.

On this page:

The COVID-19 Testing Strategy for Aotearoa/New Zealand

With the move to a minimisation and protection strategy, supported by the COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF), the Strategy provides a roadmap to help us navigate our way through the presence of COVID-19 in the community to keep our whānau and all New Zealanders safe.

The strategy is based on public health recommendations for COVID-19 testing of different groups in differing scenarios. Central to the recommendations is ensuring that those who are at greatest risk of poor outcomes are prioritised, and that results are delivered in a timely manner.  

We want to hear from you

This will help us adapt the strategy to respond to the needs of our communities as we move through different pandemic management scenarios.

You can provide feedback on the strategy:

Responses to the survey and via email will be reviewed by our teams and the Strategy will be amended as required.

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 testing guidance

Detailed clinical guidance for health professionals:


Download the Auckland Outbreak Testing Plan

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