Testing over the holiday break for unvaccinated travellers

Some people who traveling in January 2022 will need to have a negative test within 72 hours of travel. Find out who needs to get a test, what test to take and when, and where you can get a test.

Who needs to get a test 

Everyone over 12 years and 3 months who is unvaccinated with no symptoms of COVID-19 (asymptomatic) who is :

  • travelling with a transport carrier company (for example, planes, buses and ferries) that require proof of a negative test.

Evidence of a negative test taken within 72 hours of travel is required. It is preferable to take this within the 24 hours immediately before travel.

Rapid antigen testing is not be used for people with symptoms. If you are unwell and have COVID-19 symptoms, you should stay home and get a PCR (nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal anterior nares swabs) test.

What test to take

A rapid antigen test is strongly recommended for the travel testing requirement. This type of test is only available for unvaccinated people, with no symptoms, aged over 12 years and 3 months. You will get a result in around 15 minutes.

While a negative PCR swab test will be accepted, we are asking people not to use them for travel. As we continue to respond to the current outbreak, this will let our labs focus on processing and returning PCR swab test results for:

  • people with symptoms 
  • close contacts of confirmed cases. 

How much a test costs

Testing to meet domestic travel requirements will be free at participating community pharmacies until 31 January 2022.

When to get a test

For rapid antigen testing we recommend you get a test as close as possible to the time of travel, preferably within 24 hours of travel. 

PCR swab tests should be taken within 72 hours before time of departure.

You should plan your travel carefully to allow time to get tested and receive your result. 

Where you can get a test

Participating community pharmacies have been making supervised rapid antigen tests for domestic travel purposes since 15 December 2021. 

PCR swab tests continue to be available at community testing centres and GPs. 

You can find testing locations on the Healthpoint website. This will include participating community pharmacies offering a rapid antigen testing service.

Information on rapid antigen testing

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