Getting a COVID-19 test

Who has to get tested

COVID-19 testing is not mandatory. If you are offered a test, you can decide whether or not to have it. Whatever you decide, it is important to follow all the public health recommendations and to continue to apply the health recommendations for everyone.

If you have flu-like symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 and are a priority client, it is recommended that you get tested at a screening centre.

If you have symptoms and are not a priority client, it is recommended that you do a rapid test.

If you need to have a screening test to travel, you must go to a private clinic or a pharmacy that offers this service.

Priority for testing at designated screening centres

Healthcare and social services workers

Healthcare and social services workers and subcontractors providing care and services to clients or residents at the following facilities may be tested at a designated screening centre:

  • Health and social services institutions
  • Intermediate and family-type resources (IRs-FTRs) and continuous assistance residences (CARs)
  • Private seniors' homes
  • Residential centres, or residential and long-term care centres 
  • Home-based social economy enterprises
  • Service employment paycheque arrangement
  • Respite homes
  • Birthing centres
  • Palliative care hospices
  • Residential settings (including religious communities)
  • Community accommodation resources
  • Detention centres
  • Pharmacies
  • Ambulance service organizations
  • Any other facility or organization defined under provincial guidelines

Healthcare and social service clients

Clients who are receiving or will receive healthcare or social services at a healthcare facility or a residential facility can have a test at a designated screening centre.

Other people given priority

Some people who have symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 can be tested at a designated screening centre, including the following:

  • People under consideration for COVID-19 treatment (such as PaxlovidTM or EvusheldTM) or for flu treatment (such as oseltamivir)
  • People with a chronic disease or a condition requiring regular medical attention, such as:
    • a cardiac, pulmonary, renal, hepatic, hematologic, or neurologic disease
    • cancer
    • an immunocompromised condition
    • morbid obesity
  • People aged 70 years and older
  • People from First Nations, Inuit or Métis communities, whether or not living in the community
  • People living in or travelling to remote areas for work
  • People living in the same household as a person susceptible to flu complications and their informal caregivers
  • People with a physical or intellectual disability or an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who have another disorder making them eligible for flu or COVID-19 treatment
  • Children under the age of 2 years
  • Pregnant women in their 2nd or 3rd trimester who are healthy and pregnant women who have a chronic medical condition, regardless of their trimester

Confirmation that you belong to a priority group may be requested at the testing centre.

Some testing centres allow you to get tested without an appoinment. For more details, consult the websites of the institutions in your region.

Getting your test results

In general, your test results will be sent by e-mail. If you did not provide an e-mail address when you booked your appointment, you will receive your results by phone.

Laboratory test results are also available on the page ‘Québec Health Booklet’ Prélèvement de Carnet santé Québec This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Contraindications to getting tested for COVID-19

In general, there are no contraindications. Some situations require a medical assessment before getting tested:

  • You have a nasal obstruction other than nasal congestion;
  • You are having a nosebleed now;
  • You had a nosebleed in the last week;
  • You have had surgery:
    • oral surgery in the last week;
    • nose surgery in the last month;
  • You are having an episode of wheezing.

Last update: December 14, 2022


Information on the website in no way replaces the opinion of a health professional. If you have questions concerning your health status, consult a professional.


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