Unvaccinated can get rapid antigen testing from Wednesday

Source: 1News

Free rapid antigen testing for Covid-19 will be available from this Wednesday at some pharmacies around the country for unvaccinated people travelling during the holiday period.

The Ministry of Health on Monday said the testing would be free at participating pharmacies for asymptomatic unvaccinated people aged 12 years and three months and over.

Evidence of a supervised negative rapid antigen test will be required for unvaccinated travellers leaving the Auckland region and for domestic travel with some transport companies.

There are 483 pharmacies across New Zealand that have opted in to provide these supervised tests - 138 are in the Auckland region with a total of 345 in the North Island and 138 in the South Island.

All unvaccinated Aucklanders leaving the city once the border opens on December 15 require a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of travel. The in-store testing becomes available the same day the border opens.

It was announced on December 9 that rapid antigen tests would be free from some pharmacies until the end of January 2022 to meet domestic travel requirements.

Rapid antigen tests are similar to a pregnancy test which has two blue lines displayed for a positive result. The nasal swab tests can return results in about 15 minutes.

The Ministry of Health said bookings are recommended, although some pharmacies will accept walk-ins.

Any unvaccinated people who receive a positive rapid antigen test result will be strongly advised to seek a confirmatory PCR test.