When and how to get tested
The only reliable way to know if you have COVID-19 is to get tested. Two types of tests are recommended in Australia:
• Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are done through your GP or at a testing clinic. They are more accurate, but results take 1-3 days.
• Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) can be purchased from pharmacies, supermarkets or online. They can be done anywhere, including at home, with results in 15-20 minutes.
What you need to know
You should get tested if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, even if they’re mild.
You should also get tested if you’re considered a close contact of a person with COVID-19.
If you’ve already had COVID-19, you should get tested if you develop new symptoms at least 4 weeks after recovering.
Consider doing a rapid antigen test if you’re going to visit an aged-care facility, see someone with a chronic medical condition or attend a function or party.
You should get tested if it’s part of a COVID screening program for your school or employer.
Got other COVID questions? Get COVID clarity
Use the COVID-19 Symptom and Antiviral Eligibility Checker to find out if you need to seek medical help.
Call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 at any time if you need advice.