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  Frequently Asked Questions

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.  If we haven’t answered your query, please contact your local testing laboratory.

More information on ordering a travel test

Please print your prepaid pathology request form and have your passport on hand for when you go to have your sample collected. There are no special preparations required for a COVID-19 travel test. 

There is a collection window that you must present within to comply with the requirements of your state, country, airline, or cruise line. Please ensure that testing occurs with this timeframe.

For example, if you are required to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure, please do not present before the 72-hour collection window or less than 24 hours before your departure.

Please use our collection time calculator  to help you work out when to have your sample collected.  

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.

We accept Mastercard, Visa and American Express. The transaction will appear on your statement as "SH SMART SOLUTIONS".

It is your responsibility to understand the testing requirements of the state or country that you are travelling to, and of the airline or cruise line that will take you there.

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

In most Australian states, you are not required to book an appointment for your COVID-19 travel test. If your collection centre is Launceston Pathology in Tasmania or Clinpath in South Australia, you are required to book an appointment for your sample collection. Please call your local Sonic Travel Testing laboratory to do so.

More information on request forms and travel report

The request form is sent by email after you have placed your order. To open this link enter your Date of Birth in the following format: DD/MM/YYYY

Yes. The passport number, country of origin and nationality that you enter when placing your order are included in your Travel Report

Yes, however you are only able to include one passport number and nationality when placing your order. To add a second passport number and nationality, please tell the pathology collector who takes your sample and this will be organised for you.

You result is reported in a Travel Report that is sent by SMS to the mobile number you enetered when placing your order. You will need the 4-digit report access PIN to open the report. The PIN is found in your confirmation email and also on your tax invoice.

Please see International COVID 19 Travel Report for an example of what your results will look like. 

Your order is valid for 12 months from the date that you place it. The expiry date is printed on the request form.

Yes. The QR code that authorities use to validate your results is printed on your Travel Report.

Destination guidelines

If you are travelling to Japan and require a test, order a PCR Nasopharyngeal swab test when placing your order. Please check our collection locations for Japan travel. 

Yes. The COVID-19 real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) performed by our testing laboratories is a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). 

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.

Unfortunatley no, our Northern Territory pathologies do not offer COVID-19 travel testing at this time.  

Travel resources

Before travelling we recommend using to check your transit or destination country for their current pre-departure COVID-19 testing guidelines. 

We recommend checking your state destination's guidelines prior to departure. Each state has independent policies for COVID-19 border travel. 

Please download our Sonic Travel Testing brochure that has specific information and FAQ's  for travel agencies. 

Information on COVID-19 testing

A real-time RT-PCR (reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction) test detects the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2; the virus that causes COVID-19. This is considered the  gold-standard test to detect if you have COVID-19.

COVID-19 IgM is currently not offered at our Sonic Labatories due to the changing nature of international travel testing. 

Click here to learn more.



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 with your confirmation email and it is  password encrypted. Please use your Date of Birth to open the request form (dd/mm/yyyy).

Your confirmation email also has your tax invoice. It is important to retain this invoice as the report access PIN (on the top right-hand corner), is used to access your pathology report.

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

To view an example request form and tax invoice, see below. Click the red square to zoom in on pathology request form.

Sonic Travel Testing Sample Request Form

Payment, refunds and change of plans

COVID-19 testing for pre-travel is not covered by Medicare at this time and all bookings are pre-paid during the ordering process. 

  • COVID-19 RT-PCR swab test is $145 AUD*
  • COVID-19 Supervised RAT test $64 (AUD)*  (Only avalible in WA and VIC)

*These prices are subject to change

Refunds can be requested any time before your sample is collected. Refunds are only given when travel plans change but not for 'change of mind'.

If you are entitled to a refund there will be a $20 administration charge per traveller for this service, for all orders received from 17 November, 2021. We will process your refund within ten business days of having your cancellation approved.

Please note: Your order is valid for 12 months, so you don’t need to cancel if your travel is only delayed.

Your order is valid for 12 months. You can use it any time up to its expiry date. The expiry date is printed on the request form.

Please remember to check with the embassy, travel agent, airline, shipping line, or destination country or state for COVID-19 testing requirements.

Your order is valid for 12months from the date that you place it. There is no need to contact us, simply tell the collector when you arrive for your test and they will be able to update your new travel details.

Some health funds and travel insurers are allowing claims for COVID-19 travel testing. We recommend that you  check with your provider about what is covered by your policy.

Terms and conditions

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

Terms and conditions of use

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.

Updated Monday, 29 May 2023