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Get a COVID-19 test

Find information on getting tested for COVID-19 in Victoria.

Rapid antigen tests

Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are the preferred means of testing for COVID-19 for most Victorians.

They are quick and accurate, particularly if you have symptoms or if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

You should take a rapid antigen test:

  • if you have symptoms of COVID-19 infection, no matter how mild
  • if you are a household or close contact of someone who has COVID-19
  • if you are a social contact of someone who has COVID-19. This includes workplaces and educational facilities
  • before attending a crowded event, social gathering or visiting people at risk of serious illness, for example, when a test is required to attend a hospital or other health care setting. This is because COVID-19 can spread before you have symptoms. You can help protect others by checking you are negative before leaving home
  • as part of a screening program, such as one organised by your employer.

If you return a negative rapid antigen test

If you have COVID-19 symptoms and you return a negative rapid antigen test you should stay home until your symptoms go away. Repeat rapid antigen testing over the next several days.

Rapid antigen tests are better able to detect COVID-19 when repeated over successive days but will not detect other respiratory viruses, such as influenza.

If you return a positive rapid antigen test

If you test positive on a rapid antigen test you are a COVID-19 case. You must report your positive result to the Department of Health and follow the Checklist for COVID Cases, including isolating for 7 days.

When PCR testing is available

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should take a rapid antigen test.

PCR testing is also available for all Victorians with COVID-19 symptoms. You should wear a high quality and well-fitted face mask at testing sites and travel there by private vehicle, if possible.

People at high risk of severe illness and other at-risk groups will have their PCR tests prioritised. This is so they can be diagnosed as early as possible and access additional care, including COVID-19 treatments.

If you have symptoms and are at a lower risk of severe illness you will be offered a rapid antigen test to take home with you. If you request a PCR test, you will receive one.

If you have no COVID-19 symptoms, you will not be offered a PCR test unless you have been directed to get one by the Department of Health, Local Public Health Unit or a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner.

All children under two years old will be offered PCR tests whether they have symptoms or not.

Staff at testing sites will decide if you are able to get a PCR test based on Department of Health testing criteria.

To help you decide which steps are right for you, choose from the following.

Testing advice for different situations

  • Your situation:

    • you are 65 years or older
    • you are a child under 2
    • you have other health conditions
    • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
    • you have moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms
    • you are pregnant or gave birth up to two weeks ago
    • you are not vaccinated or not up to date with your vaccination.

    What you should do?

    You should take a rapid antigen test or PCR.

    If the test result is positive, you are a COVID-19 case.

    You must report your result to the Department of Health and follow the Checklist for COVID-19 Cases.

    You may also be eligible for COVID-19 medicines, which will reduce your chances of becoming severely unwell.

    If you need to attend a testing site (for example, if you are unable to access or perform a rapid antigen test or your rapid antigen test returns a negative result but you have symptoms) you will be offered a PCR test.

    See PCR testing for at-risk Victorians for more information about how we can help you get tested for COVID-19.

  • Your situation:

    1. I am a household/close contact
    2. I am a social contact (including workplace and education)

    1. What you should do:

    If you are a household/close contact, you should take a rapid antigen test. If you can’t access a rapid antigen test you can get kits free at state testing sites.

    If the test result is positive, you are a COVID-19 case. You must report your result to the Department of Health and follow the Checklist for COVID cases.

    If the result is negative, you should repeat the test over several days as this will increase the chances of detecting COVID-19.

    If you still choose to attend a state testing site, staff will offer you a rapid antigen test to take home with you. If you ask for a PCR test instead, you will receive one.

    If the site has no rapid antigen tests you will be offered a PCR test.

    If you take a PCR test you must stay home until you get your result.

    Remember, you are still a household contact while you wait for your PCR result and even if the result is negative. PCR tests are taken at a point in time, and you are still at higher risk of developing COVID-19.

    You must still follow the Checklist for COVID contacts, including quarantining for 7 days. You may only leave home (you must wear a face mask) each day provided you do a rapid antigen test on 5 out of your 7 days and return a negative result each time.

    If your PCR test or subsequent rapid antigen test is positive, then you are officially a case and you must now follow the Checklist for COVID cases.

    2. What you should do

    If you are a social contact, you should take a rapid antigen test. If you can’t access a rapid antigen test you can get kits free at state testing sites.

    If the test result is positive, you are a COVID-19 case. You must report your result to the Department of Health and follow the Checklist for COVID cases.

    If the result is negative, you should repeat the test every day for five days, spaced 24 hours apart. You should stay home until your symptoms go away.

    If you still choose to attend a state testing site, staff will offer you a rapid antigen test to take home with you. If you ask for a PCR test instead, you will receive one.

    If you do take a PCR test you must stay home until you get your result and continue to use rapid antigen tests while waiting for your result.

  • Your situation:

    • I have COVID-19 symptoms and I am not at risk of severe illness.

    What you should do:

    You should take a rapid antigen test. If you can’t access a rapid antigen test you can get kits free at state testing sites.

    If the test result is positive, you are a COVID-19 case. You must report your result to the Department of Health and follow the Checklist for COVID cases.

    If the result is negative, you should repeat the test over several days as this will increase the chances of detecting COVID-19. You should stay home until your symptoms go away.

    If you still choose to attend a state testing site, staff will offer you a rapid antigen test to take home with you. If you ask for a PCR test instead, you will receive one.

    If you take a PCR test you must stay home until you receive the result.

    If your PCR test is negative, we strongly recommend you stay home until your symptoms go away and repeat rapid antigen tests over several days.

    If you later return a positive rapid antigen test, you are a COVID-19 case.

    You must report your positive result to the Department of Health and follow the Checklist for COVID cases, including isolating at home for 7 days.

  • You should go to a testing site and request a PCR test.

  • You are a COVID-19 case. You must report your result to the Department of Health and follow the Checklist for COVID cases, including isolating at home for 7 days.

    If you have COVID-19 symptoms a PCR test is not required.

    If you still choose to attend a state testing site, you will receive a PCR test if you ask for one.

    If you have no symptoms and you are not a social contact or a household or close contact, get a PCR test to confirm your result.

    If you return a negative PCR test later, you are no longer a COVID-19 case and may leave isolation.

  • A PCR test will not be offered at state testing sites.

    Pre-departure international travel tests are only available at private pathology centres. Fees may apply.

  • You should take a rapid antigen test.

    It is recommended that all international arrivals take a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of entry.

    If your rapid antigen test result is positive, you are a COVID-19 case. You must report your result to the Department of Health and follow the Checklist for COVID cases.

    If the result is negative, you should repeat the test over several days to increase the chances of detecting COVID-19. You should stay at home until your symptoms go away.

    If you can’t access a rapid antigen test, you can get kits free at state testing sites. If you ask for a PCR test instead, you will receive one.

    You must stay home until you receive the result of your PCR test.

  • A PCR test will not be offered at state testing sites.

    If you are a household or close contact, you must follow the Checklist for COVID contacts.

    If you are a social contact (including workplace or education) you should take a rapid antigen test for 5 days spaced 24 hours apart.

    If you return a positive rapid antigen result you are a COVID-19 case. You must report your result to the Department of Health and follow the Checklist for COVID-19 cases.

Find your nearest COVID-19 PCR testing site

State-run testing sites provide PCR tests and many also supply rapid antigen test kits.

You can collect up to five free rapid antigen test kits for each person listed on your Medicare card.

To find your closest COVID-19 testing site and its operating hours, enter your postcode or suburb below or search by site type. Look in the ‘Other site details’ under the ‘More info’ dropdown for each site to see which sites carry rapid antigen test kits.

Most COVID-19 testing sites accept children of all ages for testing. Check the location finder to see specific ages tested at your local testing site.

Some sites let you pre-register your details using the Testing Registration FormExternal Link , which will speed up the information collection process when you get tested. This information can be found in testing site information on the map and table below.

If you test positive on a rapid antigen test, you are required to report your result to the Department of Health by filling in the form online or calling the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398. For translations, call the hotline number and press zero (0) first.

Note: Click an icon to view a pop-up card with site information and contact details. Multiple sites in one area are shown by the numbered icon, press on the icon to zoom in. You can make the map larger or smaller by scrolling or using the minus or plus button in the bottom left corner. You can move the map around by clicking and dragging. To view the listings in a table, click 'List view'.

More information

  • Before attending a COVID-19 state testing site you should check:

    • walk-through or drive-through access
    • if the testing site requires a booking (only required at some sites)
    • age limit of children being tested
    • accessibility requirements.

    You may also need to complete the Testing Registration FormExternal Link before your COVID-19 test.

    Bring your Medicare card and the details of your usual General Practitioner (GP) and/or GP practice, if you have one.

    If you don’t have a Medicare card, bring one form of identification such as your driver’s license or student ID.

  • After you've been tested, go straight home and wait for your results. Stay at home. Do not go to work or go out shopping.

    Your doctor or the clinic where you were tested will contact you by phone or SMS to tell you your results, regardless of if it is positive or negative. Visit Checklist for COVID cases if you tested positive to COVID-19.

    If you get tested to receive clearance for a medical procedure, you will need to follow the instructions given to you by your GP or surgeon.

    You should get your test results within 2 days of being tested, but it sometimes takes longer. Only contact your testing provider if you have not received your test results after 72 hours.

    Testing for medical procedures

    If you get tested to receive clearance for a medical procedure, you will need to follow the instructions given to you by your GP or surgeon.

    Proof of your COVID-19 result

    If you require a letter or other document of your result (such as for travel, medical, work, or educational purposes) you should contact your general practitioner, who can provide suitable documentation.

    Confirmation of COVID-19 Testing email

    If you requested a Confirmation of COVID-19 Testing email, you should receive it within 12 hours of taking your PCR test.

    If you haven’t received an email within 12 hours, check your junk or spam folder of the email address provided, or call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 between 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday and follow the prompts.

    The Confirmation of COVID-19 Testing email is not a medical certificate and does not state your COVID-19 test result.

    You can only request a Confirmation of COVID-19 Testing for tests completed in the last 14 days.

Reviewed 08 August 2022

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have COVID-19 call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days. The COVIDSafe Information hotline diverts to the national hotline every day from 8pm to 8am.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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