COVID-19 PCR Testing for Travel from Sydney
Are you travelling abroad or interstate from Sydney soon? Most countries require incoming travellers to provide proof that they’re not infected with COVID-19.
That usually means a certified negative COVID-19 PCR test result obtained within the last 2-3 days. This is easy to do with Safework Laboratories! We offer COVID-19 PCR testing for travel from Sydney.
How to get your PCR test for travel in Sydney
- Call our client service number.
Our team will help you book a COVID-19 PCR test for travel. We’ll set a date, time, and collection centre location within Sydney that’s most convenient to you: 1300 905 180
We will also send you a booking email that will confirm your appointment details.
- Pay for your COVID-19 PCR test ticket.
Use the payment box on this page to pay for your PCR test ticket(s). Upon successful transaction, you will receive a tax invoice and your PCR test ticket(s). Each ticket contains a QR code as proof of payment.
- Arrive at your designated collection centre.
Have your QR code ticket with you upon arrival. A collector will scan your QR code and facilitate the COVID-19 PCR test.
- Receive your results.
You’ll receive an SMS when your results are ready. We will also email you a PDF with the official test results that you will need to board the plane. (Note that the SMS message will not be sufficient for boarding.)
For more general information on SW Labs’ COVID-19 PCR test, click here.
Testing Locations in Sydney
Additional information for travelling out from Sydney
Because of the ongoing pandemic, there’s a general ban on overseas travel for Australian citizens and permanent residents. (The only exception is for New Zealand.) This is true whether you mean to travel by air or sea.
However, if you must, it is still possible to travel out of the country. To do that, here are the additional things you must plan for.
1. Obtain a travel exemption
As an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia, you can only travel out of the country if you first get an exemption. You may apply for this online with the Department of Home Affairs no later than 2 weeks before your planned trip.
Generally, you’ll be granted an exemption if:
- Travelling out of Australia is part of work related to the COVID-19 outbreak response (e.g., travelling to assist in aid provisions)
- You’re travelling on urgent official business for your employer or company
- You need to receive urgent medical treatment that’s available only in another country
- Your trip outside Australia is of national importance
- You are travelling for a compelling reason or on compassionate grounds
2. Follow safety protocols at your departure areas
(For general COVID-19 travel advice within the city of Sydney itself, click here.)
If you’re flying out from Sydney’s international airport (Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport), there are safety measures in place which you must follow. Airport authorities also encourage you to use the NSW government’s COVID Safe Check-in service and app when you travel.
Each airline also has safety guidelines for its passengers. Make sure to familiarise yourself with them and comply.
Here are a few links to some of these airlines’ safety requirements:
- Singapore Airlines
- Etihad Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- American Airlines
Sydney Harbour terminals
If you’re sailing out of Sydney Harbour, please check with the NSW Port Authority for updates on COVID-19 safety measures and restrictions at the OPT (Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay) and White Bay Cruise Terminal (at Rozelle).
Currently, only cruise passengers going from Australia to New Zealand can travel under the “Green Zone.” Nevertheless, there are still some safety measures you must take to reduce your risk of infection during a cruise. Moreover, conditions may change. So watch out for the latest government public announcements on COVID-19 safety.
Prepare for foreign country requirements
Always double-check what the latest entry requirements are for Australian citizens or residents going into a particular country. You might need to take a COVID-19 PCR test no more than 2-3 days before your trip. If your test result is negative, you can enter that country.
For more information, please contact the embassy or consulate of the country you’re visiting. Here are a few helpful links for some of the countries Australians commonly visit:
Frequently asked questions
Need more information on what happens pre and post-travel after receiving your COVID-19 test?
Click the downloadable PDF below.
Is a Medicare rebate available for the COVID-19 travel tests?
There is no Medicare rebate available for the COVID-19 PCR test for international travel, as these tests are for asymptomatic patients only.
How many days in advance of my scheduled travel should my COVID-19 RT-PCR test to fly be performed?
It may vary from country to country. To find out how soon your COVID-19 PCR test should be scheduled before your trip, please check with the embassy of the country you are flying to. Or, check with your travel provider for these details.
Do I need a doctor’s referral to undergo a PCR test for travel?
No, a doctor’s referral isn’t required.
Do I need to refrain from eating or drinking particular food items or medicines before taking the PCR test?
No, you can eat or drink anything. It won’t affect the test.
What if I get a positive result?
Relevant State authority will be notified about any positive results. You will be contacted for further instruction.
What if I have an ‘indeterminate result’?
Your sample will be re-tested. If subsequent results are still indeterminate, we’ll contact you for another sample collection.
Have your results within 24-48 hours
Advantages of COVID-19 testing with Safework Laboratories include:
- A wide range of collection centres to accommodate travel testing nationwide
- Results available within 24-48 hours of testing
- Real-time notification of available results
- A secured portal to access a digital and printable PCR test travel certificate (for travel requirements)
- 24/7 customer service for urgent enquiries
The Testing Process
Speed, accuracy and safety are essential. So we focus our PCR testing process on all three. SW Labs’ new COVID-19 testing facilities and services employers are available throughout the country.
The Gold Standard of Testing
The industry considers PCR the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19 infection. The laboratory test detects RNA, which contains the genetic information of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. If a donor’s swab sample shows evidence of virus RNA, it means they are actively infected.
Unlike rapid antibody tests, the PCR searches for the presence of Coronavirus RNA rather than evidence of the body’s immune response. RNA is a key component of a virus’s anatomy and is unique to that particular virus. Once infection occurs, the coronavirus’s signature RNA can be detected, even before antibodies or symptoms of the disease appear. In contrast, an antibody test cannot determine this until at least a week after infection.
By looking for coronavirus RNAs, doctors can tell early on whether or not a person has contracted COVID-19.
Accredited COVID-19 Screening to ISO 15189
When testing for highly infectious diseases like COVID-19, accuracy could very well be a matter of life and death. That’s why our coronavirus screening service follows strict guidelines set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA).
Our processes are run according to ISO 15189 provisions and the CDNA National guidelines (Coronavirus disease 2019 – COVID-19; including both Section 7 and Appendix A: SARS-CoV-2 Laboratory testing). We also comply with National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council (NPAAC) guidelines and employ clinical microbiologists who provide supervision for COVID testing.
Highly Efficient Collection and Testing
We understand how important it is to have safe and efficient COVID-19 testing. Our laboratories have full accreditation from NATA/RCPA (National Association of Testing Authorities and Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia). Our staff are highly trained to safely collect and transport nasal swabs.
24/48 Hour Results
At SW Labs, we make sure that all of our test results come out as quickly as possible. We can have your PCR-based COVID-19 test results in as fast as 24/48 hours after we receive your specimen sample.
Safework Laboratories (SW Labs) is a national provider of health and safety products and services, including education, drug and alcohol and COVID-19 PCR testing for your workplace.
Our rapid response has included the establishment of accredited laboratories. It’s enabled us to assist our clients in meeting their COVID-19 risk management plan objectives.
SW Labs continues to innovate and provide scientific expertise in PCR testing, to ensure community safety. As a national organisation, we’re capable of performing thousands of tests daily. Our goal is to instil confidence in the delivery of accurate results, giving Australians the opportunity to travel again and get back to business.
The highest standard
We have worked with SW Labs over many years across Australia, we have absolute faith in their ability to deliver the highest standard of services for our company and our clients. We look forward to seeing our COVID-19 service partnership grow over the coming year.
Managing Director at Fullerton Health Australia
Exceptional turnaround times
SW Labs has provided exceptional service and turn-around-times for PCR test results to date (under 24 hours), to support WSL’s compliancy with COVID Safe plan implemented for the first of the 4 World Championship Tour events in Australia, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
World Surf League Global Safety Senior Manager
You guys there have been UNBELIEVABLE with the help you have given us, it has been so valued.
VBSW Team Manager
So plan ahead for your overseas trip from Sydney and plan it well. Book your COVID-19 PCR test with SafeWork Laboratories today!