COVID-19 international pre-departure testing

COVID-19 international pre-departure testing

The Ministry of Health continues to hold the view that international 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 that require testing for this purpose.

Read information about the testing process below:

Test Process

Testing is performed at our Travel Centre as well as at various medical practices.

  • The Travel Centre offers 24/48 hour turnaround time and must be booked online – click here.
  • For passengers attending a Medical Practice, testing must occurs at least 3 days before departure.
  • Clinical Details: must include relevant details on the test request form such as “Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test”, “Asymptomatic COVID test”, “Clearance”, etc.  This allows the laboratory to identify the purpose of testing.

Travellers must pay for their own tests.

The following tests and corresponding costs are available at the Travel Centre:

$250.00 – Covid-19 PCR Test

$98.00 – Serology IgM (For travel to China only)

$75.00 – Express service (results within 24 hours)

Click here for more information

Medical Practices have two payment payment options:

  • Option one – Patient to pay entire swabbing & testing fee to Medical Centre. Wellington SCL to invoice medical centre at end of the month to recover the lab testing fee ($141.00 incl GST)
  • Option two – Patient to pay the swab collection fee component to medical practice, then patient to deliver their swab (with lab form) and pay testing fee at one of the selected WSCL Collection Centres (Lower Hutt, Courtenay Place, Porirua, Lincoln Road)

Referrers will be guided through the process when they select the COVID test in the laboratory e-order system.

Refunds incur a $25 admin fee per person for any refunds processed.

No refunds will be given if you miss your appointment, or cancel your appointment within 24 hours.


By requesting COVID-19 testing individuals are providing their consent for results to be sent through to the national result repository, this is a Ministry of Health requirement for all notifiable diseases.

Information for Travellers

People registering for repatriation flights will be made aware of requirements around pre-departure testing. Information is being provided to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) for Air New Zealand to pass on to travellers and the Ministry of Health will make information available on its website.

Individuals can also be directed to look at publicly available information on their destination country’s entry requirements or be referred to the relevant country’s foreign representative to New Zealand.
A list of foreign representatives can be found here.

For further queries regarding COVID-19 exit testing please contact the Ministry of Health COVID-19 hub at COVID-19Response@health.govt.nz, information can also be found on the Ministry of Health Covid-19 homepage.


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 travelcentre@wellingtonscl.co.nz or phone 04 381 5900 EXTENSION 5