Getting tested for COVID-19 is free, convenient and easy.
If a GP (doctor) referral is required for a private testing clinic, ask whether you will be charged for the referral.
COVID-19 testing for travel clearance purposes is conducted at private pathology clinics only. Charges may apply for COVID-19 testing services for travel.
Who should get tested
It is important to maintain high testing rates to identify as many cases in the community as quickly as possible.
Get tested if you have
- any COVID-19 symptoms, even if only mild
- visited a place or travelled on public transport at the same time as a confirmed COVID-19 case
- been at an interstate COVID-19 case location during a specific time period
- been in contact with a person (including family, friends and people you live or work with) who
- is confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 or
- is a close contact of someone confirmed to be infected with COVID-19
People at risk
It is important that you monitor for symptoms carefully and get tested if they appear if you are
- a healthcare worker
- a disability and aged care worker
- at increased risk of severe disease
- working in a school community.
Information and advice
Follow the NSW Health advice for
Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line for information about COVID-19 on 1800 020 080.
Rapid antigen tests
Rapid antigen tests will be performed onsite in selected workplaces and schools in NSW.
Read more about rapid antigen testing.
Pandemic leave disaster payment
You may be eligible for financial support if you can't earn an income because
- NSW Health has directed you to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days or
- you are caring for someone who has COVID-19.
Find out if you are eligible for
What you need to do
You must get a COVID-19 test and self-isolate for at least 14 days after you last had contact with the infectious person.
Follow the NSW Health advice for close contacts.
Get a COVID-19 test immediately, even if you feel well and don’t have any symptoms.
You must self-isolate until you receive a negative test. You may be required to get more than one test.
Follow the NSW Health advice for casual contacts.
Getting a test
When you select a testing clinic to visit, check the details before you go to see if
- you need to make a booking
- children can be tested at the clinic
- a referral from your GP is required
- there is wheelchair access
- the clinic is drive-through and you need to stay in your car for the test.
You will need to bring one form of identification with you.
While the COVID-19 test is a simple and quick process, get to the clinic with enough time before it closes for staff to explain the process and answer any questions you have.
After your test
Go straight home and self-isolate until you receive your result, unless otherwise advised by NSW Health.
Do not stop off along the way.
If you need groceries or other essential items, ask family or a friend to drop them off at the front door.
If you need to pick up your children, ask another parent or family member to drop them home.
Getting your results
When you are tested you will be given information on how to register to receive an SMS text message with your COVID-19 test result.
Results typically take 24 to 72 hours.
If you’ve been tested at a public hospital clinic or emergency department, you can receive your result securely through your MyServiceNSW account.
If you have the Service NSW mobile app, you can receive a message with your COVID-19 test result through the app.
If you were tested by a private pathology provider and have not received your results within 48 hours, call the provider on the COVID-19 results hotline.
If the test is positive
A positive test result means you have COVID-19.
Your doctor or the public health unit will provide you with advice.
The local public health unit will also contact you to interview you and identify your close contacts. The guidelines for people who have confirmed COVID-19 infection apply.
If the test is negative
A negative test result means you do not have COVID-19.
You must continue to follow the relevant guidelines for self-isolation and remain in isolation for 14 full days if you are a person who
- is a close contact of another person with COVID-19
- is in home quarantine due to overseas travel
- has been advised by the Public Health Unit to remain in isolation.
You can check in to COVID Safe businesses who are using their NSW Government QR Code, via the Service NSW app.