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Rapid antigen tests - reading the results

Rapid antigen tests are a fast way to check if you have COVID 19.


[On screen] one sample of a COVID-19 antigen saliva test kit and one sample of a SARS-CoV-2 antigen self test nasal kit.

All rapid antigen kits are slightly different.


[On screen] person opening up a sample instruction guide leaflet

It's important that you follow the instructions in each kit carefully


[On screen] example of two timers set on two mobile phone screens.

including waiting the specified time for your results. There are three types of results you might get.


[On screen] a graphic image example of a negative test result and instructional text stating “Negative (you do NOT have COVID)”

A negative result has a red line next to the C marker and no line next to the T marker.

If your result is negative and you don't have any symptoms you can carry on with your day as normal.


[On screen] three graphic image examples of a positive test result and instructional text stating “Positive (you have COVID)”

A positive result has a red line next to both the C and T markers the T marker line might be pale or very dark. Either way, it is a positive result and you're a COVID 19 case.


[On screen] person sitting at a table with test kit items laid out in front of them. The person is holding a saliva pen.

Isolate and go to


[On screen] person visits the on the mobile phone

to register your positive result and seek advice on what to do next.


[On screen] a graphic image example of an invalid test result and instructional text stating “Invalid”

If a red line only appears next to the T marker or no lines appear at all, your test is invalid. It might be because the test wasn't done correctly, or there might be a problem with the test. You should perform a second test when you're finished.


[On screen] person demonstrates throwing away all the kit components in a plastic bag.

Throw away all the kit components in your household rubbish bin if your test was positive, dispose of it in a separate bag.


[On screen] person demonstrates putting left over test kits in a cupboard.

Make sure you store any unused tests out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dry place under 30 degrees.

Thank you for continuing to help protect yourself, your family and your community.


[On screen text] For more information visit

For more information about rapid antigen testing and anything else COVID related in Victoria, visit


[On screen] Victoria State Government – Department of Health logo

Reviewed 17 February 2022

Coronavirus Hotline

Call the National Coronavirus Helpline if you have any questions about COVID-19.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.