Type of test - PCR or RAT - coronavirus (COVID-19)

We use two types of tests to detect COVID-19 in Queensland:

  • a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) which can be done at home and may also be used at a testing clinic
  • a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test which is only used at testing clinics.

Which test you need

Either type of test is acceptable in most circumstances.

You should use a RAT kit if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

If you don’t have a RAT kit, you can get a PCR test at a testing clinic.

You may also be asked to use a RAT kit if you need to be tested for other reasons, like for traveling or before elective surgery at hospital.

Where to get a RAT

You can buy RAT kits in retail shops and pharmacies.

Queensland Health testing clinics can also supply RAT kits for people who have COVID-19 symptoms.

Schools have RAT kits for children who develop symptoms while at school.

You can access free RAT kits from community pharmacies if you hold an eligible Commonwealth concession card.

More information