Frequently asked questions

How can we help you?

We’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions to provide you with more information about organising a COVID-19 test before you plan to travel.  Please browse the questions below and if we haven’t answered your query, please send us an email.

The real-time RT-PCR (reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction) test is a combined nasal and throat swab sample.

This test is looking for the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2; the virus that causes COVID-19.

This is the gold standard test currently required for all countries.

Only select the COVID IgM test option when COVID-19 IgM is specifically required by a country (transit or destination) or an airline. Check with the embassy or airline for their latest requirements.

Do not choose the test option that includes COVID-19 IgM if is it not required.  If you have the blood test unnecessarily performed its result may prevent you from travelling.

This test detects IgM antibodies to SARS-Cov-2 the virus that causes COVID-19. IgM is usually the first antibody produced by the immune system when a virus attacks. When IgM is detected you may still be infected, or you may have recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection.

A pathology request is a form containing your information that you must bring with you when your sample is collected.

You will receive this form via email which is password encrypted, with a 128-bit key, after you have purchased the test.

This pathology request form will be accompanied by a tax invoice. It is important to retain this invoice as there is a PIN number on the top right-hand corner which you will need to access your pathology report.

It is essential that you print and bring this form with your passport, to the COVID-19 travel test collection centre.

To view an example request form and tax invoice, click the image below.

Sonic Travel Testing Sample Request Form

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are aware of the testing requirements of the state or country you are travelling to.

Please check with your embassy, travel agent, airline, shipping line, or destination country or state for testing requirements.

COVID-19 testing for pre-travel patients is not covered by Medicare and must be pre-paid.

  • COVID-19 RT-PCR swab test is $145
  • COVID-19 RT-PCR swab test and IgM blood test is $195

There is a collection window that you must present within to comply with your state/country/airline/ship.

Please ensure that collection complies with this timeframe.

For example, if your required testing timeframe is 48 hours before departure, please do not present before the 48-hour collection window or after 40 hours.

During your COVID-19 collection booking process with us, you will be provided with a date calculator outlining testing timeframes.

IMPORTANT: If you present within 24 hours of departure, you may not receive your result in time.


Travel requirement
COVID-19 testing within 72 hours of departure

Departing Australia
3 pm on 19 November

Collection window
3 pm 16 November to 3 pm 18 November

COVID-19 testing window example

In this example above, you must not present before 3 pm on 16 November, or after 3 pm on 18 November.

Your request form is valid for three months from the day you order your test. You can use it any time up to its expiry date. Please remember to check with the embassy, travel agent, airline, shipping line, or destination country or state for COVID-19 testing requirements.

Unfortunately, Internet Explorer does not support the use of Sonic Travel Testing.

Compatible browsers to book and pay for your COVID-19 test through Sonic Travel Testing are ChromeEdgeFirefox, and Safari.

The Sonic Travel Testing service terms and conditions of use can be viewed by clicking on the button below.

Terms and conditions of use

Updated Wednesday, 08 September 2021