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? All the information on COVID-19 tests

When Do I Take a PCR Test and When a Rapid Test

When do I take a PCR test?

  • Following exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 patient
    For people from high risk groups (those aged 60 and older and those with pre-existing conditions) who came in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient.
    Information on the isolation requirement for close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 patient
  • If you have fever or symptoms that may be consistent with COVID-19
    For people from high risk groups (those aged 60 and older and those with pre-existing conditions) who have one or more of the symptoms that may be consistent with COVID-19.
    Note: If you have fever, regardless of vaccination or recovery status, you are required to stay in isolation until you receive a negative result or until 48 hours have passed since the breaking of your fever without the use of fever breaking drugs.
  • For isolation reduction
    Unvaccinated and non-infected individuals from high risk groups (those aged 60 and older and those with pre-existing conditions) who were ordered to go into isolation due to close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient or because they returned from abroad – will be eligible for release from isolation after receiving a first negative result in the PCR test upon the beginning of the isolation period (for travelers returning from abroad – this is the PCR test that you take upon arrival in Israel) and a second negative result on an additional PCR test taken starting from the 7th day of isolation, on the condition that they meet all of the terms and conditions for isolation reduction.
  • Pre-flight
    Unvaccinated and non-infected individuals who are leaving Israel – are required to take a PCR test in the 72 hours before the flight. This guidance is by the Ministry of Health in Israel, but they are also required to check the policy in the destination country and to follow it as well.
    Note: These tests are administered in private facility and are a paid service, not in the Home Front Command's testing facilities and not in the HMO clinics.
    Information for travelers leaving Israel by air travel
  • Upon arrival in Israel from abroad
    Upon arrival in Israel, it is required to take a PCR test at the airport or at the border crossing. This test is required from all arrivals, regardless of age.
    Information for travelers arriving in Israel
  • When caring for a confirmed COVID-19 who is unable to stay in isolation alone
    Caregivers from high risk groups (those aged 60 and older and those with pre-existing conditions) – are required to take a PCR test starting from the last day of the isolation of the person for whom they care.

When do I take a supervised rapid test?

  • Following exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 patient
    Vaccinated and recovered individuals who are not from a high risk group and who came in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient – can choose whether to take a supervised test or a home test. Those who tested with a home test and received a positive result – will take an additional supervised test, in order to be confirmed first as patients and subsequently as recovered.
    Information on the isolation requirement for close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 patient
  • If you have fever of 38 degrees Celsius or higher
    Those who are not from a high risk group (those aged 60 and older and those with pre-existing conditions).
    Note: If you have fever, regardless of vaccination or recovery status, you are required to stay in isolation until you receive a negative result or until 48 hours have passed since the breaking of your fever without the use of fever breaking drugs.
  • If you have any symptoms that may be consistent with COVID-19
    Those who are not from a high risk group (those aged 60 and older and those with pre-existing conditions) and have one or more of the symptoms below that may be consistent with COVID-19: Coughing, loss of taste or smell, headaches, sore throat or muscle pains.
  • For isolation reduction upon close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient
    Unvaccinated and non-infected individuals who are not from high risk groups (those aged 60 and older and those with pre-existing conditions) who were ordered to go into isolation due to close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient or because they returned from abroad – will be eligible for release from isolation after receiving a first negative result in the supervised rapid test upon the beginning of the isolation period (for travelers returning from abroad – this is the PCR test that you take upon arrival in Israel) and a second negative result on an additional supervised rapid test taken starting from the 7th day of isolation, on the condition that they meet all of the terms and conditions for isolation reduction.
  • When caring for a confirmed COVID-19 who is unable to stay in isolation alone
    Caregivers who are not from high risk groups (those aged 60 and older and those with pre-existing conditions).
    Further information on the isolation requirement for caregivers
  • For a daily Green Pass
    Unvaccinated and non-infected individuals may take a supervised test in one of the authorized testing facilities, and if the result is negative – receive a daily Green Pass that allows for admission to places that comply with the Green Pass scheme. This test is a paid service.

When do I take a home rapid test?

  • Following exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 patient
  • Vaccinated and recovered individuals who are not from a high risk group and who came in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient. If the result is positive, they will need to take an additional supervised test, in order to be confirmed first as patients and subsequently as recovered.
    Information on the isolation requirement for close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 patient
  • If you have any symptoms that may be consistent with COVID-19
    Vaccinated and recovered individuals who are not from a high risk group and have one or more of the symptoms that may be consistent with COVID-19. If the result is positive – it is recommended that they also take a supervised rapid test.
    Note: If you have fever, regardless of vaccination or recovery status, you are required to stay in isolation until you receive a negative result or until 48 hours have passed since the breaking of your fever without the use of fever breaking drugs.

You should know: Home test kits cannot be used for receiving a certificate of recovery, for reducing the isolation period of those who are unvaccinated or non-infected and for issuing a daily Green Pass in order to be admitted to places that comply with the Green Pass scheme.

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