Getting tested for COVID-19 is free, convenient and easy. When a General Practitioner (GP) referral is required for a private testing clinic, please check with your GP as GP charges may apply.
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 and when
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, even mild symptoms, should get tested at a COVID-19 testing clinic.
It is important to maintain high testing rates to identify as many cases in the community as quickly as possible.
As well as people who have COVID-19 symptoms, there are other people who should consider testing. This includes people who have visited a confirmed COVID-19 case location in NSW or interstate during a specific time period.
Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line for information about COVID-19 on 1800 020 080.
What you need to do
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
You must go straight home and self-isolate until you receive your result.
Getting your results
Information on how to register for an SMS text result is provided when you get tested.
Results typically take 24 to 72 hours.
If you’ve been tested at a public hospital clinic or emergency department, you can also receive your result securely through
- your MyServiceNSW account, and
- a message sent to you, if you also have the Service NSW mobile app
- if you have been tested by a private pathology provider and have not received your results within 48 hours, contact the provider directly via the 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.