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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.

You must register a positive rapid antigen test result as soon as possible after you get your result.

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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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 have a positive result you should immediately isolate.

If you do not have access to a phone or computer you should 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 required to report a positive COVID-19 rapid antigen test result with Service NSW to ensure you receive appropriate health support. 

From 19 January, a penalty of $1,000 will apply if you fail to register a positive rapid antigen test result.  

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

You must register your result with Service NSW if you test positive in another state or territory and have returned to NSW to self-isolate. 

After registration

  • If your symptoms are mild and you have no underlying medical conditions, you will receive an SMS with web links to NSW Health guidance, including how to manage COVID-19 at home
  • If you're pregnant, unvaccinated or have a serious medical condition, you'll be asked to complete a follow up survey from NSW Health after you've submitted your positive result. 
  • If you develop severe symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing or fainting, call Triple Zero (000) straight away and tell the ambulance staff that 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. 

Note: The NSW Government's Test and Isolate support payment will not apply as rapid antigen test results are provided within 15 minutes and there is no delay with results being received.

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

Self-isolation and medical clearance

After you've received a positive rapid antigen test result, you'll need to self-isolate for 7 days and follow the advice from NSW Health.

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

You can finish isolation on day 7, if you have no symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath.

NSW Health will send you a de-isolation certificate after the 7 days, but you do not have to wait for this to leave isolation. 

Support for people with medical conditions

If you're at risk of additional illness as a result of underlying medical conditions, NSW Health will contact you within 48 hours to offer care and support,

Health contacts

If you have any health concerns, you can check your symptoms online or 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