From 1 July 2024, funding arrangements for COVID-19 related services are moving to a business-as-usual approach Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora (Health NZ) confirms today.


Health NZ continues to transition its health response to COVID-19 so it is managed in a similar way to other communicable diseases, but some funded COVID-19 services remain available for people to access to support them with the prevention and management of COVID-19 throughout the winter months - particularly for those most at risk.”

From 1 July 2024, those aged 14 years and over will be charged for COVID-19 healthcare visits at their doctor as they would for any other non-COVID-19 healthcare visits.

All tamariki aged 13 and under who are eligible for publicly funded health services, are eligible for free visits during normal business hours at their usual doctor, hauora provider or healthcare provider, including for COVID-19 healthcare.

COVID-19 vaccines remain free for those who are eligible which includes everyone aged 5 and over, and tamariki from 6 months who are at greater risk of severe illness if they were to get COVID-19. 

“Vaccination against COVID-19 is our first line of defence against the virus. We encourage people to ensure everyone in their whānau keeps up to date with their COVID-19 vaccine and all other available vaccinations.”

Funded COVID-19 antiviral medicine remains available for people with a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

“People who are eligible for COVID-19 antiviral medicine can continue to get a prescription for these antivirals from their doctor, healthcare provider, or hauora provider, and some pharmacies can supply antivirals to eligible people without a medical prescription.”

Pharmacies that do not require a prescription to supply COVID-19 antiviral medicine can be found on Healthpoint.

Free rapid antigen tests (RATs) continue to be available to the public until 30 September 2024. People can access them by finding a participating pharmacy or RAT collection site near them on Healthpoint.

For those who live rurally, have a disability, are immunocompromised or experience some other difficulty accessing RATs, they may be eligible for additional help, including delivery if necessary. People can find out if they are eligible by calling 0800 222 478.

“RAT testing is still an important method to support eligible people to access antiviral medicines and reduce the number of people admitted to hospital due to COVID-19. Testing is a valuable tool to help reduce transmission of COVID-19 - anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home, test with a RAT and follow the national guidance for those who are COVID-19 positive.”

Alternatively, people can call Healthline on 0800 611 116 anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for free health advice and information. Interpreter services are available.

“We encourage people to utilise available COVID-19 services as they need to, which will help to significantly reduce the spread and impact of the virus on communities across the motu at this time of year.

People can find more information and advice about COVID-19, including symptoms, testing, isolation, vaccines and masks here.



Media contact:

Attributable to Martin Hefford - Director Living Well, National Commissioning, Health New Zealand |Te Whatu Ora