Australia (amongst other countries) has recently announced that you need to get a PCR test and negative result within 72 hours of flying before you leave. So you’re going to need to find somewhere that can schedule and deliver a PCR result right away, here are your best venues, as suggested by the Australian community in New York.

With news about COVID changing everything so rapidly, it’s certainly possible that some of these locations may be more or less available over time. Be sure to work your way down the list if you need!

For a full list of PCR testing around New York City, there are some great resources online from places like NYCHealth which can guide you.

1. NYU Langone Health PCR Test

It seems like the best venue to get a PCR test within 72 hours is NYU. From what I’m seeing:

NYU turns around PCR results in under 24 hours. You book a virtual urgent care appt with them and then they schedule you for the nasal swab, which comes back very quickly

Ashley C.

This has been a popular one and mentioned all over the internet so I with any luck it will continue being reliable and helpful! We’ve even seen some people get results on their way home from the appointment or within a couple of hours!

To book an appointment and find out more about PCR Testing at NYU Langone Health.

2. Northwell Urgent Care

This one’s a recommendation from me, personally, as it’s where I’ve had one done with a < 48-hour turnaround (as they promised). While they do allow for you to arrive on the day, line up, and get in (at some locations), it’s highly recommended that you get an appointment that can be booked online. They release appointments around 7/8 am in the morning so be sure to keep refreshing their website and you’ll suddenly see appointments become available.

You wait outside at your appointment time and interact via text with them until they’re ready for you. At that point they let you in and there’s very little contact with anyone throughout the whole process.

An absolute delight in this day and age!

To book an appointment online for PCR testing at Northwell Urgent Care, click here.

3. City MD

While you can’t get a reservation at CityMD to get a PCR test, you can basically always get one and their results come back online and fast.

The downside of CityMD is that you will be required to stand out, in-line, in the cold to get in before 9/10 am. Most of them open at 8 am, but you will find people queuing down the block from as early as 4 or 5 am.

Not anymore, thanks to a savvy reader (thank you):

Mate, City MD have a new system for PCR Test, you register on site at the office and get an instant SMS confirming how many people in front of you and joining a ‘virtual’ queue. You go away and you get a 2nd SMS 30 mins before you need to come back to the office.

Pretty simple and much better than being in line.  I did this a couple of weeks ago.

Bryan K.

THIS IS AMAZING.

They’re fast, efficient, and from my personal experience, very friendly!

There’s also Rapid PCRs from some locations!

UWS city MD urgent care do rapid PCRs, I’ve had results back before I got home! The lines were increasing though (3+ hours), not sure what it’s like these days

Rosie C.

More information about City MD can be foud here.

4. NYC Health + Hospitals

NYC Health (as linked at the top of this article) is a great resource for everything COVID and can provide you with all sort of resources.

They also provide lots of their own testing and assistance and reports are that they are getting PCR results back within 24 hours still!

To book an appointment and get more information about PCR testing at NYC Health + Hospitals, click here.

5. Citywide Urgent Care

This one comes with a fantastic referral:

I get tested once a week – can’t recommend Citywide Urgent Care enough 🙏🏼 rapid results in 1-3 hours and PCR test in 24-48 hours.

Em B.

If you’re getting tested regularly and still love a place, then it must be a winner for PCR tests!

To book a PCR test at Citywide Urgent Care you can check out their website.

Information for flying back to Australia

Before you fly, there are a few requirements that you need to check off and the most reliable source of information is SmarTraveller.gov.au:

From 22 January 2021, if you’re travelling to Australia, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test to your airline when checking in for your flight at the departure point (exemptions apply).

You must be tested 72 hours or less prior to your scheduled departure time of your flight (or your first flight if you have one or more connecting flights booked to Australia).

If you or a primary close contact of your travelling group tests positive, you won’t be allowed to travel to Australia.

Masks must be worn on all international flights, including at airports. Follow the advice of local authorities on social distancing and mask wearing while in transit.

Getting an appointment for a PCR test

Most locations just require you to call ahead (unless specified differently above), but you can also speak to your PCP (Primary Care Physician) and see if they have any recommendations or ways to refer you. In many cases this is your best and most efficient method!

Other options for PCR Tests in New York City

Do you have another recommendation that has a reliably speedy turnaround? Add it to the comments below!