IDEAS has put together information on COVID-19 testing, locations, what to expect, where to find testing centres, how long results take and how to get help about access needs at testing clinics.

You can also call us to ask about testing. Free Call: 1800 643 787.
We have helped many people find testing in their local area.
Plus work through questions about the test, accessibility, transport and support.

On this page: 
Do I need to be tested? 
Where can I get tested? 
How to check if testing places are accessible. 
What do I need to bring with me to get tested for coronavirus (COVID-19)? 
What happens when I get tested? 
Is the testing free? 
How long does it take to get the results?  
What if I can’t leave my home to get tested? 
What if I can’t afford to get to a clinic, or there is no public transport? 
Can I take someone I care for to be tested? 
Need help to find a way to get tested?

Do I need to be tested?

Yes, if you have a fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

It is important for:

    • anyone who lives or works in a high-risk setting, including healthcare facilities, aged care and other residential facilities, schools, prisons, and other closed settings.
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
    • people who are close contacts of a confirmed case or who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
    • anyone admitted to hospital.
    • people who reside in areas for increased testing and surveillance. 


Where can I get tested?

Some clinics need you to book first. Some hospitals have a fever clinic. Some testing places are mobile or drive through. In some states, you require a referral.

You can also get tested at special respiratory clinics across Australia. To find one in your state  Coronavirus Respiratory Clinics

New South Wales

NSW Health COVID-19 Testing Clinics


Victoria COVID-19 Testing locations


For details of your closest clinic please contact your GP or local hospital.

South Australia

SA COVID-19 Testing Centres

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Respiratory Clinics

Northern Territory

Depending on where you are, you may be directed to a special testing facility.

Contact your GP via phone for advice on whether you require testing.

If you can't contact your GP, call 1800 008 002 to talk to a clinician. This is a dedicated NT wide coronavirus (COVID-19) number for people who need to arrange a test only.

If you live in Darwin and need to arrange a test, call the Public Health Unit on 8922 8044.


Six respiratory clinics have opened in Tasmania to help meet the demand for COVID-19 testing. These clinics are not open for walk-up testing. You must contact your GP or the Public Health Hotline for a referral.

The clinics are located in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and West Park (Burnie). If there is no testing clinic in your local area, you can travel outside your local area to have a test.

If you think you might have COVID-19 but don't have a regular GP or family doctor, call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

Western Australia

You can fiind WA COVID-19 Clinics here.

How to check if testing places are accessible

Contact the clinic, centre, or health department you are directed to for testing - and ask about your access needs.
IDEAS can also help you find access information on the testing site. Call IDEAS on 1800 029 904.

What do I need to bring with me to get tested for coronavirus (COVID-19)?

You need to bring your Medicare card.

If you have a facemask (Personal Protective Equipment) you should wear one.

a thermometer being read

What happens when I get tested?

The test takes a sample of cells in your body to send away and check if you have COVID-19.

There are two types of test. The person testing you will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like gloves, gown and mask.
You may not be able to see their mouth to lip read.

You might have your temperature taken. You might be asked to place your head against a wall or car seat. The back of your head will rest against the surface.

For a mouth sample collection

  • You will need to open your mouth and say “argh”
  • A swab will be put into your mouth and will move around

For a sample collection from your nose

  • A swab will be put inside your nose, to the very back and moved around for about 10 seconds.
  • This will happen on the other side of your nose.
  • It might feel strange and make you cough.


Is the testing free?

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) test is free. There is no fee for the test when you get tested at a public health facility, mobile testing centre or GP offering bulk billing.

How long does it take to get the results? 

It takes 1 to 3 days for people to get their results after they are tested. Sometimes there can be delays and it can take longer. If you have questions about your results you should contact the clinic or hospital where the test was carried out.

What if I can’t leave my home to get tested?

You have a few choices. 

  • Call your doctor or
  • Call 1800 020 080 National Coronavirus Helpline or
  • Call the Disability Information Helpline on free call 1800 643 787. 
    Monday to Friday 8 am to 8 pm (AEST) and Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 7 pm (AEST).
    If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can also call the National Relay Service on 133 677.
    If you require support in another language, you can use the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) free of charge by calling the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787 and asking for an interpreter, or calling TIS on 131 450 and ask to be connected to the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787.
    Livechat: through IDEAS – IDEAS is a partner in delivering the helpline.
  • Check house visiting doctors who can test
  • Home doctors might check you if you live in residential care
  • IDEAS can help you find someone to test you call us on 1800 029 904

a woman in front of a computer screen. She is wearing a headset and looking over her shoulder, and smiling.

What if I can’t afford to get to a clinic, or there is no public transport?

If you think you have Coronavirus you should not use Public Transport. You can contact one of the choices under What if I can’t leave my home to get tested?

I can’t drive through a drive-through clinic as I don’t have a car

If you cannot get to a clinic IDEAS can help you find someone in your area to visit and test you. See What if I can’t leave my home to get tested?

You should not use Public Transport if you think you have Coronavirus. 

Can I take someone I care for to be tested?

If you usually provide care or assistance to someone who may otherwise have difficulty getting tested, such as an elderly relative, you may take them to a testing centre.

Need help to find a way to get tested?

Call IDEAS on 1800 029 904. text us on 0458 296 602, Live chat on our website, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. us. We can help.

If you need more information

Seeing a doctor and getting tested for COVID-19
COVID-19: Updated advice on testing 
Collection of nasal and throat swabs for respiratory virus testing 
Easy English State-Based Information
NSW Easy English Resources

IDEAS does information so you can do life.