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A rapid antigen test is a quick way to check if you have COVID-19. You do the test yourself and it shows you the result on a device that comes with the test.

While not mandatory, NSW Health recommends you register a positive rapid antigen test result. Voluntarily registering your result helps you access medical support from NSW Health, including antiviral medicines if you are eligible, and also assists NSW Health respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

You can register a positive test result for yourself, another adult or a child. Each result needs to be reported separately.

You cannot register your positive result at a Service NSW Centre.

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You can translate this page or call a translator for free translation support. Find out more about support in your language.

The registration process

    Method of registration

    You can register online or through the Service NSW app.

    You do not need a MyServiceNSW Account to register a result.

    You cannot register in a Service NSW Centre.

    If you do not have access to a phone or computer you can ask a trusted friend or family member to register the result on your behalf. 

    If you have any issues or need help completing the registration form, call Service NSW on 13 77 88.

    Mandatory registration

    You are no longer required to report a positive COVID-19 rapid antigen test result with Service NSW.  

    Knowingly providing false or misleading information as part of the registration is an offence under Part 5A of the Crimes Act 1900(NSW) and will be referred to NSW Police. 

    Registering on behalf of another person

    You can register a result on behalf of another person. You must have consent from the person to do so. 

    If you're submitting on behalf of a child you must be their parent or guardian.  

    Registering if you test positive in another state or territory

    If you test positive in another state or territory, you can still register your result with Service NSW. 

    After registration

    You will be asked to complete a short online survey to determine if you might be eligible for COVID-19 antiviral therapy and will be provided further advice by SMS based on the answers you provide.

    NSW Health recommends you stay home until your acute symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough and fever) have gone. You may be infectious for up to 10 days. During this time follow the NSW Health guidance on how to manage COVID-19 at home.

    NSW Health advises you should tell people you live with or have spent a long time with that you have tested positive to COVID-19. They should follow the information for people exposed to COVID-19.  

    If you develop severe symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing or fainting, call Triple Zero (000) straight away and tell the ambulance staff you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. 

    Rapid antigen tests

    When to take a rapid antigen test

    NSW Health recommends that you take a rapid antigen test if you have had a moderate or high exposure to COVID-19 or you have symptoms.  

    You may choose to also take a test before entering a high-risk setting such as aged care or before taking part in a large social gathering.  

    Some workplaces also have a rapid antigen test surveillance program. 

    Finding a rapid antigen test

    Rapid antigen tests are sold at supermarkets, pharmacies and selected retailers. 

    Regulation of rapid antigen tests

    The Therapeutic Goods Administration regulates the provision of tests in Australia.

    Check the list of approved devices to see how well a rapid antigen test performs.  

    Rapid antigen test pricing

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is leading investigations into price gouging for rapid antigen tests, an offence now prohibited under federal laws.  

    Price gouging may have occurred if a test or kit is sold at more than 120% of the purchase price. 

    Complaints about prices for rapid antigen tests in NSW can be made to NSW Fair Trading, which will monitor the number of matters and assist the ACCC as required. 

    Make a complaint online to NSW Fair Trading

    PCR tests

    What is a PCR test

    A PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test involves taking a nose and throat swab.

    The test is done by a health practitioner and can sometimes pick up an infection earlier than a rapid antigen test. They can be used for additional testing to determine the strain that someone is infected with.  

    PCR testing can also ensure with very high accuracy whether someone has COVID assisting with clinical care. 

    When to take a PCR test

    You should do a PCR test if:

    • you have COVID-19 symptoms, but have tested negative on a rapid antigen test and are at higher risk of severe disease including those who are pregnant, immunosuppressed, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Pacific Islander, or unvaccinated
    • you can’t get a rapid antigen test and have COVID-19 symptoms
    • a health care provider has advised you to have a PCR test.

    Find a COVID-19 PCR testing clinic.

    NSW Health advice for positive COVID-19 cases

    Voluntarily registering your result helps you access medical support from NSW Health, including antiviral medicines if you are eligible, and also assists NSW Health respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Self-isolation and medical clearance 

    It is strongly recommended to self-isolate until you no longer have symptoms such as a cough, runny nose or sore throat. You should always follow advice from NSW Health. You do not need to wait for advice from NSW Health to leave self-isolation. 

    You should tell all members of your household that you have tested positive. They should follow the household contact guidelines

    Support for people with medical conditions

    If you are at higher risk of severe illness, you may be eligible for antiviral medicines. COVID-19 antivirals are only prescribed to eligible people who have tested positive to COVID-19 through a rapid antigen test (RAT) or PCR (nose and throat swab) test. 

    If you have questions, contact your GP or phone the Healthdirect National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.

    Health contacts

    Most people with COVID-19 can manage safely at home. If you have any health concerns during your illness that are not urgent, contact:

    If you develop severe chest pain, fainting episodes or severe difficulty breathing, call Triple Zero (000) straight away and tell the ambulance staff that you have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

    Data security

    Sharing data

    The information you provide will be shared with NSW Health to ensure you receive the most appropriate advice and support.  

    Data security

    Service NSW is committed to protecting all information provided during the positive test result registration process.  
     
    Registration information will be shared in real time with NSW Health with minimal storage of personal and health information by Service NSW.

    Privacy and personal information

    Protecting your privacy

    Your information will be shared with NSW Health to ensure you receive the most appropriate advice and support. 

    See the Privacy Collection Notice for information on how we manage your personal information.

    Registering on behalf of another person

    You can register a result on behalf of another person. You must have consent from the person to do so. 

    If you're submitting on behalf of a child you must be their parent or guardian.

    Support in your language

    Change the language of this page

    You can automatically translate any website page from English into another language using our free translation service.

    Select 'Change language' at the top right of the page (in the black ribbon), and a list of different languages will appear.

    Choose the language you want and the page will automatically change to that language.

    Note: This translation service is not available if you're using Internet Explorer.

    Call us using an interpreter

    For free help in your language, you can also call Translating and Interpreting Services on 13 14 50 and ask them to contact us on 13 77 88. The service provides immediate phone interpreting.

    More information and support

    Last updated: 14 October 2022