General Practice - Information on Enhanced Border Surveillance - Incoming travellers direct from China

General Practice - Information on Enhanced Border Surveillance - Incoming travellers direct from China

Kia ora, 

Could you please distribute the following communication via your normal channels please: 

As you are aware, incoming travellers to New Zealand are encouraged to complete a RAT if the get COVID-19 like symptoms while travelling here and if RAT positive, are encouraged to get a PCR test (in order for whole genome sequencing to be done). 

Recently, there was a decision made by Government to introduce some enhanced border surveillance measures in relation to incoming travellers  directly from China only. 

These measures include:

  • A new flyer for incoming travellers directly from China (different from the generic flyer currently provided to incoming travellers)
  • Information on flyer includes:
    • Voluntary testing as follows:
      • asking passengers to test with a RAT within the first 3 days of arrival (vs testing when you become symptomatic)
    • Requesting travellers to complete the survey or phone the RAT assisted channel with their result (vs MyCovidRecord or the assisted channel)
    • If they test positive, advising travellers to get a PCR test and that their household members need to test for 5 days  (and advising where they can access more RATs)
    • Providing advice on where travellers can get a PCR test done (either a CTC or GP)
    • Advice on what to do after travellers’ first 3 days of arrival (from day 4 onwards)
    • Information on consent
  • SMS text messages and emails are also being provided to incoming travellers from China with this information. 

With the introduction of this enhanced border surveillance, please find following some important points to note:

Between 20 January and 20 February 2023 please ask all patients who present requesting a PCR test if they are a recent arrival from China.  If they have arrived from China on or after 20th January 2023, then please follow this process:

  • General practices can decline to provide a PCR test, but should direct the traveller to a provider who can.
  • The traveller must consent to the swab being taken.
  • Travellers should be advised to isolate for 7 days from the day of the positive RAT result and should stay in isolation unless they receive a negative PCR result
  • The service is fully funded.  General practices can claim $120 (excluding GST) for conducting the PCR test. There is no charge for the traveller to have the PCR test done by a general practice.
  • The general practice cannot make any simultaneous claim against any other funding stream.
  • General practices are not required to complete any additional activities (eg assessments etc) as part of conducting the PCR test.
  • General practices are not obliged to provide any ongoing Covid care to travellers who are not enrolled with them.
  • NHI numbers are not required (or to be used where they are known) for the PCR samples for travellers from China
  • BHR numbers are being provided to these travellers (via email and text message) A NHI can be created if there is no BHR number.
  • The BHR number should be used as a reference on the order for the PCR test
  • Please ensure the BHR number is clearly visible on the sample and the sample request form.
  • Please note: ALL of the positive PCR samples need to be clearly labelled as a sample from China to enable the labs to prioritise these samples and send them on to WGS. 

The enhanced border surveillance is due to commence on Friday 20thJanuary for a four week period only.

Attached is a copy of the flyer that is being handed out to incoming travellers from China. 

Please remember to update your healthpoint site with information on where and when people can access PCR testing.

If you have any queries, please send them to: with “Enhanced Border Surveillance” as the subject title.

Ngā mihi 

Vanessa Coull (she/her)

Principal Advisor | Tino Kaitohutohu

COVID-19 Testing Operations

waea pūkoro: +64 21 229 7050 | īmēra:

133 Molesworth Street, Wellington