Changes to COVID-19 PCR testing in NSW

From 13 May 2023, COVID-19 PCR testing in NSW has changed.

Most people who have COVID-19 symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever) can do a rapid antigen test (RAT). If your test positive, please register the result with Service NSW so you can access medical support and follow the advice for managing COVID-19 safely at home.

RATs are available for free at Service NSW service centres, mobile service centres and recovery centres. Find a RAT near you.

If you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, contact your doctor for testing advice. If you can't contact your doctor, call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 or use the online Service Finder to find a GP near you.

If your doctor recommends a COVID-19 PCR test, they will give you a pathology referral form for a free COVID-19 PCR test.

The referral form will have a private pathology provider location to visit so you can get tested.

Have COVID-19 symptoms?

If you have any cold and flu symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever), please stay home and get tested.

More information on COVID-19 testing and what test you should do can be found on What COVID-19 test should I do?

COVID-19 testing for international travel

Some countries and airlines may require a pre-departure PCR test result at check-in before you will be allowed to board your flight. Travellers should check the entry requirements of the country they are travelling to, and their airline's requirements.

COVID-19 testing for international travel clearance purposes (departures) is conducted at private pathology clinics only and charges apply for this service. If you return a negative test result, you will be issued with a testing clearance certificate which you will need to board your flight or vessel. You may be required to book in advance for this service.

If you are an international arrival, please monitor closely for symptoms of COVID-19 after arrival.

More information

Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW