Rapid antigen testing for unvaccinated travellers
From this Wednesday, rapid antigen testing will be available for free at participating pharmacies for asymptomatic unvaccinated people aged 12 years and 3 months and over who are travelling during the holiday period.
Evidence of a supervised negative rapid antigen test will be required for these unvaccinated travellers leaving the Auckland region and for domestic travel with some transport companies.
As of this morning 483 pharmacies across the motu have opted in to provide these supervised tests. Of these 138 are in the Auckland region with a total of 345 in the North Island and 138 in the South Island. Participating pharmacies can be found on the Healthpoint website – www.healthpoint.co.nz under ‘Supervised rapid antigen testing for travel’ under COVID-19 Testing.
While some pharmacies will accept walk-ins, bookings are recommended. Please note that rapid antigen testing is for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
While rapid antigen tests will at times give false positive results, any unvaccinated people who receive a positive rapid antigen test result will be strongly advised to seek a confirmatory PCR test. Furthermore, they won’t be able to travel without a negative PCR test result so please plan ahead to allow sufficient time to get tested and receive your result.
This testing is vital to ensuring we continue to pick up cases and prevent onward transmission. We know people, especially Aucklanders, are looking forward to reuniting with family and friends but if you are unwell, please stay home and get a PCR test.
To meet domestic travel requirements from 15 December COVID-19 rapid antigen testing will be free until the end of January 2022.
Note on vaccine figures
Due to a delay in reporting this morning, the latest COVID-19 vaccine data is not available at this stage. This information will be updated on the website as soon as possible.
Today, we are reporting new community cases in Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Nelson-Marborough and Canterbury.
Both the Taranaki and Nelson-Tasman cases were first announced over the weekend but are being officially included in the case numbers today.
One of today’s border cases had previously been classified as under investigation. They have now been confirmed as a case.
We are continuing to ask anyone in New Zealand with symptoms – no matter how mild – to get tested, even if you’re fully vaccinated. Please remain isolated until you return a negative test result.
Testing and vaccination centre locations nationwide can be found on the Healthpoint website.
Today, there are 97 new cases being reported in Auckland.
Health and welfare providers are now supporting 2,746 people to isolate at home, including 709 cases.
Bay of Plenty
Today we are reporting one new case in Tauranga.
This case is being investigated for any links to previously reported cases.
Contacts are being identified and will be contacted for testing and isolation advice.
Please continue to check the Ministry’s website for any further locations of interest which may be added as investigations continue.
There is one linked case to report in Christchurch today.
The case is a household member of previously reported cases and was already in a managed isolation facility when they tested positive.
Christchurch testing locations and opening hours are available on Healthpoint’s website and information about vaccination clinics is available on the DHB’s website.