Test to Travel: Getting Kiwis flying again

Test to travel

In preparation for an increase in international travel, the Awanui network are making it easier and cheaper for kiwis to secure a pre-departure PCR test.

Test to Travel is a new end-to-end service which will provide travellers with digital proof of a negative COVID-19 test, allowing them entry into a multitude of international destinations.

Initially, six dedicated Test to Travel locations will be operating across Aotearoa including in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Tāranaki and Nelson. Here travellers can book online and drop in to get their international pre-departure PCR test for $175.

Awanui CEO Anoop Singh says “The time has come for families and friends to be reunited, and we want to play our part by making it as affordable and accessible as possible.””

“Kiwis are born-travellers, and as the world is beginning to live with COVID-19, pre-departure testing will be part of the new normal, at least for the near future. That means that carrying a trust-worthy and verifiable proof of a negative test will be as necessary as carrying your passport and oversized Toblerone.””

Test for Travel’s travel certificates will be recognised by the International Air Travel Association (IATA), which has a membership of over 290 airlines, including Air New Zealand. This allows travellers to access their travel certificate in the IATA Travel Pass alongside their other important health information, like vaccination status.

“With international testing requirements changing frequently, it’s important that service providers find ways to make travel as easy as possible and give travellers a streamlined experience. Having a digital wallet with all of the health information required to fly is highly desirable.” says Singh.

Many countries have eased entry requirements around testing now that the Omicron variant has become widespread, but that hasn’t put people off the gold-standard test-type.
Wellington SCL General Manager Vicki McKnight and her team have been running a travel testing clinic for well over a year, which is experiencing ongoing demand for PCR testing, despite constant changes to overseas entry requirements.

“PCR testing is the Rolls-Royce of COVID-19 testing, and while many destination countries are also allowing other forms of testing for entry, many travellers are still opting for the PCR test. It seems to provide them that additional piece of mind,” says McKnight.

Travellers can expect to receive results between 24 and 72 hours. These times will depend on demand for community COVID-19 testing, with capacity being managed through the online booking system.

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