What test to take and when, where are the tests administered, how long does it take for results to arrive and what is a serologic test?

When Do I Take A COVID-19 Test

When to take a COVID-19 test

1. If you receive a positive result on a home COVID-19 test (not a remote authorized test)

In order to be considered a confirmed and recovered COVID case by the Health System, one of the following tests must be done:
• PCR test administered at a HMO (free of charge) or at a private company (for a fee).
• Authorized antigen test (also called supervised) administered at one of the authorized testing sites (free of charge).
• Remote authorized antigen home test (for a fee)

Please note: Positive results on a home COVID-19 test (not a remote authorized test) cannot be used to define a person as verified and then as recovering, since it is not registered within the Heath System.
Further information on tests >

2. If you are a confirmed COVID-19 case
The duration of isolation for confirmed COVID patients is 7 days. You can exit the isolation in 5 days if you receive two negative test results in a home antigen test taken on day 4 eve and on day 5 eve (positive test day being first day), and only if there are no symptoms 48 hours prior, and you received a HMO recovery certificate.
Guidance for confirmed COVID-19 cases >

3. Before visiting a health and welfare facilities
When visiting health and welfare facility (for example, assisted living facility or a nursing home) you must present a negative result on an authorized antigen test you did within 24 hours of entering the place, or proof of a negative result on a home antigen test you performed within 24 hours of entering the facility (children under age 3 do not require a pre-visit test).

Please note, a PCR test can be performed in the following places:

  • HMOs - from the age of 30 and above. In addition, those returning from abroad, of any age, will be able to test during the 10 days after arriving in Israel (by presenting a flight ticket or cruise ticket from the last 10 days, or confirmation of payment of an exit fee from the Israeli land border crossing from the last 20 days). The test is free of charge.
  • Testing station in Ben Gurion Airport - it is possible to perform a test at this station after landing in Israel. The test is free of charge.
  • Privately - it is possible to perform a test at one of the companies offering this service (for a fee)

When is it recommended take a COVID-19 test

In addition to cases where a test should be done, there are cases when it is recommended to take a test, especially for those aged 60 and older and for those in at-risk groups, to find out if you were infected and to receive medical treatment in time.

These are the cases where it is recommended to take a COVID-19 test:

1. 72 hours after exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case
If you were exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 patient, it is recommended to take a home test 72 hours after the exposure. In case the result is positive – you must take a PCR test or an authorized test at a authorized testing sites, or a remote authorized antigen home test (for a fee), to be considered as confirmed and later as recovered in the Health System. 
Further information on tests >

2. If there are symptoms consistent with COVID-19
If you have fever, cough, or difficulty breathing – it is recommended to take a home COVID-19 test. In case the result is positive – you must take a PCR test or an authorized test at a authorized testing sites, or a remote authorized antigen home test for a fee, to be considered as confirmed and later as recovered in the Health System. 

3. After receiving a borderline-positive PCR test result

It is recommended to take an additional PCR test, or an authorized test at a authorized testing sites, or a remote authorized antigen home test (for a fee) - within 24 to 72 hours after the first test. If the result is positive - you will be defined as confirmed and then as recovered.

Isolation Guidance for confirmed COVID-19 cases >

4. Anyone returning from abroad (at any age) who does not feel well during the first 10 days after returning to Israel – is recommended to take a PCR test. In contrast to antigen testing, PCR allows detection of new variants brought into Israel from overseas.

The PCR test is free for those who present a flight ticket or a cruise ticket from the last 10 days, or confirmation of payment of an exit fee from the Israeli land border crossing during the last 20 days. For people over 30 years of age, PCR tests don't require the presentation of these documents.

Map of COVID0-19 testing centers >

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