COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 testing 

When you should get tested for COVID-19:

  • If you have symptoms of the illness — even if your symptoms are mild
  • 35 days have passed since you had a positive COVID-19 test result and you have been identified as a close contact, including if you live with someone who has COVID-19, have stayed overnight in the same place as someone who is positive with COVID-19 or had more than 4 hours of contact added together with a COVID-19 case in a residential setting — some states and territories continue to recommend 4 weeks
  • If you have recovered from COVID-19 and develop new symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of whether you have had contact with a confirmed case; or
    you have been advised to do so by a health professional.

COVID symptoms
Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe. Some people recover easily, and others get very sick very quickly. If you test positive for COVID-19 you may experience: fever, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath. Other symptoms include: runny nose or congestion, headache or fatigue, muscle or joint pains, nausea or loss of appetite, diarrhoea or vomiting, temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste. Click here to learn more.

Types of COVID tests
There are 2 types of tests used to diagnose COVID-19 in Australia: polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and rapid antigen tests (RATs).

Where to get tested
From 1 January 2023, people requiring a PCR test will need to visit a GP respiratory clinic or have a GP referral to a private pathology provider.

Following the closure of state-run PCR testing sites, local councils currently providing free RATs to eligible members of the community will be supported by the Government to provide free RATs to all Victorians until June 2023. For more information, click here.

For more on testing in Victoria including how to report your result, click here and for NSW, click here.

RAT collection sites


If you test positive
If you get COVID-19 you should isolate as soon as you test positive for at least 5 days and until you don't have symptoms. For more on how to manage COVID, click here.



Page last updated 4 January 2023