Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions here.

Who can use the Saliva Testing Programme provided by APHG?

You can use the Saliva Testing service provided by APHG free of charge if you are a:

  • border or MIQ worker (opt-in via your employer)
  • permitted business crossing the Alert Level boundary in and out of Auckland.

Saliva testing funded by the Ministry of Health is not available to people travelling for personal reasons or for businesses permitted to operate inside of Auckland who are encouraged to undertake surveillance testing. You will need to use an alternative COVID-19 testing method such as the nasopharyngeal (nasal swab test).

Please note that funded saliva testing is also not available to teachers (including early childhood centres).

If you would like to enquire about saliva testing services for your business and do not meet the above criteria, get in touch with us here.

If I am in one of the eligible groups above, do I have to be part of the saliva COVID-19 testing programme?

If you are required to undertake a COVID-19 test, and are in one of the groups listed above, you have the choice to join the saliva testing programme or you can choose to use an alternative COVID-19 testing method such as the nasopharyngeal (nasal swab test).

If you have opted in to the saliva testing programme then you will be required to submit regular saliva samples.

The Ministry of Health will advise employers and workers which workforce groups will be eligible to start saliva testing and how often samples must be submitted.

If I am part of the Saliva Testing Programme, do I have to use the Saliva Testing App?

If you are working at the border or in MIQ: No, you do not need to use the App. We have a manual process you can follow.

If you are crossing the Alert Level boundary in Auckland: Yes, you must use the app to use this service. If you do not have access to a phone you will need to use the nasal swab method.

Using the COVID-19 Saliva Testing App makes the process quicker and easier. By using the App you will see the date of your last test to help you remember when you are due for your next test.

Is there an alternative to the Saliva Test App?

ONLY IF YOU ARE A BORDER OR MIQ WORKER. Printed labels can be provided as a back-up in case the Saliva Testing App is not available. This option is not available for permitted workers crossing the Alert Level Boundary.

It is always best to use the Saliva Testing App when possible.

What happens if I get a new/different phone?

You will need to register again for the COVID-19 Saliva Testing App.

This is essential to link the new phone to your details on the BWTR.

Follow the steps under How to Register for the Saliva Testing App.

Can I use somebody else’s phone with the App to request a saliva test and submit a sample?

No. Also, you must not let other people use the COVID-19 Saliva Testing App on your smartphone.

The COVID-19 Saliva Testing App on your phone is set up uniquely for you.

Is there a suitable place at work where I can collect the sample?

In many border workplaces there will be one or more saliva sample collection booths. This is where you will find a supply of tubes and biohazard bags.

The sample drop off point will be located close to the booth, this is where you will drop your completed samples. The sample collection booths will be easily visible with distinct signage and will have easily visible sample collection instructions to help you.

Do I have to go to the saliva sample collection booth at my worksite to make a saliva sample?

No. If it is more convenient you can complete the sample collection at an alternative location, such as in your car (once you are safely parked), or at home.

If you are collecting your saliva sample away from work make sure you have the sample tube, plastic biohazard bag and your smartphone to hand (or printed labels if no smartphone).

What if I’m working night shift—do I have to make the sample at a certain time?

You can use the Saliva Testing App and make the sample at any time on the day you are scheduled for a test.

How long should it be between sample collection and dropping off my sample?

You can drop the sample into the drop-off point anytime within 12-hours of making the sample.

What if I’m scheduled for a test on my rostered day off – do I have to come into work and make the sample?

The Ministry of Health and/or your employer will tell you the requirements for saliva testing under different roster schedules.

What happens when I’m away on leave?

The Ministry of Health and/or your employer will tell you what the requirements are for submitting samples when you are on leave.

How will I get my results, and how long will it take?

Your results will be sent to you in the same way that you receive your COVID-19 swab results, via text message. You will be able to see the date you last submitted a sample on the Saliva Testing App.

The laboratory aims to complete all saliva tests within 48 hours of the sample arrival at the testing laboratory.

What will happen if my test is positive?

Any positive test results are checked and re-tested as quickly as possible in the lab to confirm the result.

The laboratory will report the result to the Medical Office of Health who will make contact with you to discuss the next steps.

Will my sample be tested for any other purpose, such as drug testing?

Your sample cannot and will not be tested for anything other than COVID-19. Your sample will be destroyed after 7 days as per standard laboratory processes.

If I am feeling sick is it best to get a saliva test or a swab test?

If you are sick with any symptoms of COVID-19 you should not attend work. You must call Healthline (toll free) on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor immediately and follow their advice. It is most likely that you will need to have a swab taken instead of a saliva test.

Border Workers