Targeted surveillance testing for Auckland construction workers

Increased surveillance testing for Auckland construction workers

The Ministry of Health is undertaking targeted COVID-19 surveillance testing in Auckland in order to provide a level of assurance that there is a low risk of undetected community transmission prior to movement to Alert Level 2.

Given the increased movement as employees return to work, and people are able to visit these businesses (even in a contactless way), the Ministry of Health is asking businesses to support voluntary surveillance testing of their workers.

The particular areas of focus for this voluntary testing are the construction, hospitality, and retail sectors, who have returned to face to face work.

It is important to note the following:

  • This is not mandatory, but the Ministry is encouraging employers to support their workers to undertake this testing while we are in Alert Level 3
  • As this is a surveillance test, workers who choose to be tested do not need to isolate, unless they have symptoms
  • Surveillance testing consists of one nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal/nostril swab taken, and a single follow up test in the following week (at least five days later) if we are still in Alert Level 3
  • The swab test is free, it is up to employers on what arrangements they make with their workers who choose to undergo this testing
  • Workers already being tested (crossing the alert level boundary, border workers, etc) should not undergo additional testing.

Businesses wishing to support worker surveillance testing can encourage their workers to book and get tested at a community testing centre, GP or urgent care centre. There is no workplace testing proposed at this point.

Read a full list of testing locations(external link) -

COVID-19 vaccination and other vaccines

The Ministry of Health advises that the majority of routine vaccinations can now be administered before, after, or at the same time as your COVID-19 vaccinations.

The exception to this is the Zostavax (shingles) vaccine where a 7-day gap before or after receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 is advised.

This change will help ensure that routine immunisation programmes (such as MMR and HPV) can continue without disruption as we progress our COVID-19 vaccine roll out.

The recommended standard six-week gap between dose 1 and 2 of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination remains.

The Ministry's priority remains to ensure that everyone in Aotearoa age 12 and older who wishes to be vaccinated for COVID-19 can do so by the end of the year.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Advisory Group has advised that there are no additional safety concerns to offering the majority of other vaccinations around the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine, beyond each vaccine’s individual safety profile.

It's important to keep up to date with all vaccinations throughout your lifetime. Ask your GP or health provider to make sure you and your whānau – from your tamariki to your kaumātua – are all up to date with all vaccines, not just with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Last updated: 28 September 2021