Commercial Services

COVID-19 Pre-departure testing

The Ministry of Health continues to hold the view that pre-departure testing is one element of a comprehensive strategy that includes measures such as quarantine on arrival.

As part of this strategy there is an understanding that there will be increasing requests for pre-departure COVID-19 testing. With this in mind we are sharing relevant information for individuals who require testing for this purpose.

During the current public health emergency Labtests are processing high-volumes of COVID-19 tests. We cannot guarantee pre-departure test results for travellers in less than 72 hours from time of collection. It is important that all patients presenting for this test are advised of this by the referrer.
Results within 24 hours are not possible at this time, and we are unable process urgent requests for this test.
To reduce the turnaround time for the test result the patient can bring the sample direct to the laboratory (or deliver by taxi) at Labtests, Specimen Services, 37-41 Carbine Rd, Mount Wellington. To facilitate rapid identification write ‘Traveller COVID swab’ on the outside of the biohazard bag.
This direct delivery option is only available Monday to Saturday: 9:30 am to 2:00pm and Sunday: 9:30 am to 12:00pm.
We ask that anyone delivering samples to the Mount Wellington laboratory not to ask our staff for information regarding the time the result will be available.  Staff do not have access to this information, and these conversations take up valuable work time in the current emergency.
Results are reported as soon as they are available, so please do not phone the laboratory to expedite your result.

Read information about the testing process below:

Test Process

Travellers will contact their medical practice to arrange testing. Payment must be made directly to the medical practice for all associated costs of testing, including the laboratory analysis.

Time-frame for Testing and Results

Pre-departure testing must be requested on or before 72 hours from when the result is required (not flight departure time). Testing must be requested with this advance notice to ensure that the sample can be tested and resulted ahead of flight departure.

Turnaround time for results can be improved if samples are sent directly to the laboratory (e.g. delivered by taxi or the passenger themselves) to Labtests, Specimen Services, 37-41 Carbine Rd, Mt Wellington. This option is available Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 2.00pm and Sunday: 9.30 am to 12.00pm.


Travellers must pay for their own tests, the cost of the laboratory analysis is $141.00 inc. GST, this must be paid to the medical practice directly.


Our laboratory is an Accredited Medical Testing Laboratories (SARS-CoV-2). For more information visit the IANZ accreditation directory.

Further Information

For queries relating to the laboratory testing process please contact info.commercial@aphg.co.nz