IMPORTANT - COVID Test Request for Travel

The Ministry of Health has advised all New Zealand laboratories that COVID testing for travelling repatriation / pre-departure travel, are not funded by the NZ government.

Pre-departure travel COVID testing must be requested within the specific timeframe as indicated on the airline letters the traveller holds - usually between 48 hours to 72 hours from when the result is required, airline dependent.

Travellers must pay for their own tests. The price of the test is $170.00, with an additional charge of $30.00 if Pathlab collects the swab, total cost $200.00.

Some airlines are requesting a GP certificate, together with the COVID testing result. If this occurs there are two options:

  • Option 1: Patients have the sample taken at your medical centre (with you providing them with a GP certificate at that visit); the patient then brings the sample to Pathlab and pays the fee to us (total: $170.00) Please ensure to inform patients they will be required to pay for the test when dropping off their sample to Pathlab.

  • Option 2: Patients have the sample taken at your medical centre and pay the fee directly to you (with you providing them with a GP certificate at that visit). Pathlab then invoices you as per our standard invoicing process (total cost $170.00). It is imperative to please IDENTIFY ON THE REQUEST FORM AND THE SPECIMEN BAG to ‘invoice medical centre’.

If a GP certificate is not required by the airline, there is another option:

  • Option 3: Patients have the sample taken by Pathlab and pay the fee to us directly at any of our collection rooms (total $200.00).

COVID TEST REQUESTS WITHOUT PAYMENT: Non-payment or indication to invoice the medical centre will mean the COVID test results are not released until payment is received / billing confirmed, which could delay reporting of the COVID test result.

RESULTS: COVID test results (for travel purposes only) will be emailed to the traveller by Pathlab – the patient’s email address MUST be CLEARLY WRITTEN on the test request form.

APPOINTMENTS: Some of our facilities require an appointment for a COVID test: Rotorua, Tauranga and Whakatane (COVID testing is 3.00-4.00pm only in Whakatane). Taupo and ALL Waikato facilities do not require a COVID test appointment.

REMINDER: please ensure that ALL request forms not able to be bought to Pathlab by the patient, are emailed to the dedicated address of, stating the patient name, NHI and Pathlab collection facility they will be visiting in the subject line, so that they can be processed efficiently and therefore minimising any inconvenience to the patients.