COVID-19 Alert Level 4/2 Boundary Testing Regime
Guidance for Employers

Last updated: 1500 hrs, 10 September 2021

1. This document provides guidance to support employers to meet their boundary testing obligations initially, noting work is continuing to enhance the provision and accessibility of testing services.

2. The guidance is intended to be read in conjunction with:
• the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 11) 2021;
• employer and worker information from the Ministry of Health; and
• official information regarding boundary testing contained on, or linked from, the webpage, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health websites

3. This guidance is subject to change to reflect the latest developments in the COVID-19 response.

Summary of employer obligations – travel across Alert Level boundary

4. Employers have a duty to have systems and processes in place from 11.59pm on 9 September 2021, to ensure so far as reasonably practicable, their workers are not required to travel into, out of, or through the Alert Level 4 area unless they have had a COVID-19 test in the prior 7 days.

5. An employer must also not prevent their workers from reporting for and undergoing testing, medical examination, or both during their working hours, if testing and medical examination are available during those hours.

6. To meet these obligations, it is recommended employers:
• Maintain a record of workers that are or will be travelling across the Auckland boundary
• Facilitate these employees to obtain a COVID-19 test no later than 11.59pm on 16
September using either:
– testing providers, available at community testing sites, pop up testing centres and GP clinics. Testing providers can be found at:
– IANZ accredited suppliers ( for on site testing. Where possible it is recommended that they use éclair to record testing
– where you are confident it can be completed in time, saliva testing is also available.
Further information about saliva testing is provided below.

• Communicate to your employees to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities:
o they need to obtain evidence of having undertaken a test from the testing provider, or a medical certificate for those who cannot undergo testing.
o different advisory systems currently operate e.g. in some cases, the person will receive a text at the time of the test, in others they will be text the result. The requirement is to provide evidence of undertaking a test within the past 7 days, and both types of text would be acceptable if this is available prior to crossing the boundary. If evidence is not forthcoming, your employee must request this e.g. a medical certificate may be requested from a GP or clinician, or receipt from the testing provider. This should include:
o they must carry this evidence with them on their journey

• Implement an assurance/checking process to ensure that employees are complying with their obligations. This includes taking steps to address any compliance issues.

7. Should a test result come back as positive for COVID-19, the employee gets notified and the standard protocols for COVID tracing take place led by the relevant DHB.

Key matters explained

Testing options

8. Generally, employees can currently choose to undertake one of two types of tests: a nasopharyngeal swab or an oropharyngeal bilateral anterior nares swab. A range of additional testing services are being progressed to help improve access to testing.

9. Dedicated testing facilities at easy to access locations near the boundary will be stood up to ensure testing can be undertaken as easily and efficiently as possible. This will include the set- up of both dedicated pop-up testing centres near the boundary and on-site testing at some larger workplaces.

10. Site locations will be communicated as soon as they are available on the Ministry of Health website and through direct communications to the sector. We anticipate this occurring by the end of the day on 10 September 2021.

11. Saliva testing is currently available in a limited number of locations (ports and airports), and we are working to make saliva testing more widely available as quickly as possible.

12. Saliva testing will be introduced to give those permitted workers different options to comply. It is self-administered and available 24/7. Workers can collect tubes beforehand and drop their sample at multiple collection points. Saliva testing is a series of 2 tests, at least 2 days apart within 7 days. For those using saliva testing (initially), they need to download and install the APHG saliva testing app. The app will also record your tests and results which can be used as evidence when crossing the alert level boundary. You can find out more at

13. It is important to note that where saliva testing is utilised, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the requirements of testing are met. An employee will be compliant at the boundary if they provide evidence of completing a single test within the past 7 days.


14. It is acknowledged that establishing systems and processes will take time. This guidance is intended to support employers to implement key systems and processes, as quickly as possible.

15. It is not a mandatory requirement for workers to carry evidence until 11:59pm on 16 September. Before this time, we will consider undertaking ‘spot checks’ to ensure employers have implemented appropriate systems and practices. The focus of these activities would be to promote good practice, with an ‘education first’ approach.

16. At the boundary, Police will commence compliance checks from 11.59pm on 16 September 2021.

17. Where possible, vehicles will be diverted from the main thoroughfare to minimise the impact on other vehicle movements. Where a driver does not have appropriate evidence of a test, they may be turned around. Drivers who need to undertake a COVID-19 test will be directed to testing facilities near to the boundary to ensure they can complete a test and return to their journey as quickly as possible (subject to testing capacity at the time).

18. We are also continuing to explore additional options to make compliance with boundary testing requirements as easy as possible. This includes looking at opportunities to integrate evidence requirements with the business travel documentation. Further guidance will be provided on this matter as soon as possible.

Contact for enquiries

For any questions regarding this guidance, please email