Rapid Antigen Test for International Travel

Rapid Antigen Test for International Travel

January 24th, 2022

Rapid Antigen Test for International Travel

Win the RAT race

Many of us have been waiting patiently for two years for the international borders to reopen, and while opportunities are slowly emerging for international travel, there are still many hoops to jump through before you can relax in your seat on the plane.

One of those is the requirement to prove that you don’t have COVID-19, important both to show that you are well enough to travel, but also that you won’t be spreading Coronavirus, either on the plane or to your contacts at your international destination. Depending on your destination, this can be done either by taking a PCR test, or a medical supervised RAT.

To help you meet all the requirements at the border, and get you on your way for your international trip, SwiftDoc is pleased to be able to offer supervised Rapid Antigen Testing, followed up with an emailed confirmation certificate of your result, recognised for international travel.

How does the testing work?

Testing is simple and quick. You’ll need to acquire a RAT from a local outlet such as a pharmacy, supermarket or online supplier. Once you have your RAT, book in via the SwiftDoc website or app for an online appointment. In this video call, we’ll witness your Rapid Antigen Test, then email you with a document certifying your test result. This document is recognised for international travel, so simply show it when you are asked to provide proof of your test result.

What is a RAT?

A Rapid Antigen Test is a simple and quick way to test if you have COVID-19. This is done by obtaining a sample from inside your nose, then adding this sample to a chemical solution. To ensure an accurate result, it is important that the test is administered properly, such as by swabbing far enough up the nose, and for long enough to obtain enough sample.

One of the benefits of the RAT is that results are quick – generally within 15 minutes or so. A positive result shows up as two lines on the test device (the second line could be very obvious, or it may be faint), and a negative result shows up as just one line (next to the letter “C”). An invalid result also shows up as one line (but next to the letter “T”).

RATs are single-use only, so if you are travelling with other family members, you’ll need a separate test for each traveller.

Rapid Antigen Testing

Can I just take the test myself, unsupervised?

The rules for entry with regards to testing for COVID-19 are different for each country, so it is best to speak to your travel agent, or visit the relevant government’s official websites to find out what criteria you need to meet. But many countries (Australia included) require either a negative result from a PCR test, or a negative result from a medically supervised RAT in order to gain entry into the country.

Many countries are specifying medically supervised tests rather than unsupervised tests as they provide proof that the test was taken by you (and not someone else), was taken in the correct timeframe, and also provides proof via an internationally recognised document.

The benefit of choosing the RAT method for your pre-departure test is the quick response times. You’ll know that you’ll get your result quickly as RAT results take around 15 minutes. PCR tests on the other hand, need to be sent away to a laboratory for testing and may take some time to return a result depending on how busy they are.

That makes RATs a good option to ensure you get your result in time for your flight.

What happens if I test positive?

In terms of your flight, you’ll need to get in touch with your travel agent or airline if you return a positive result to see what your options are. But in terms of your health, you’ll then be able to book an appointment with a SwiftDoc GP who can work with you on a treatment plan so you can manage your symptoms and get back to full health, (and off to the airport) as soon as possible.

Book an appointment for your supervised RAT here.


Smart Traveller, Changes to the COVID-19 testing requirements for inbound travel to Australia. Accessed January 2022.


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