Everything about the
COVID-19 tests

See the essential information about the COVID-19 tests available in our laboratories.

Where to Test

Discover our
COVID-19 tests

PCR Test

WHAT IS IT?

Health authorities recommend PCR tests to diagnose COVID-19.

HOW IS IT DONE?

Using a nasopharyngeal swab or Saliva.

  • PCR Nasopharyngeal: no need for fasting or special preparation.
  • PCR Saliva: you must rinse your mouth with water, 30 minutes before harvest, to clean any residues. And you cannot eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum during this time.

WHO IS IT RECOMMENDED FOR?

  • PCR Nasopharyngeal: can be performed by any adult, children, and baby of any age.
  • PCR Saliva: is especially recommended for children from 4-5 years old (younger ages have difficulty in salivating but can perform the test if they can do it), people with nasal septum deviation, intubated or people who need to be tested regularly.

WHO CAN PERFORM PCR SALIVA TEST?

PCR Saliva is especially recommended for children from 4-5 years old (younger ages have difficulty in salivating but can perform the test if they can do it), people with nasal septum deviation, intubated or people who need to be tested regularly.

DO I NEED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?

  • PCR Nasopharyngeal: mandatory booking, except in units located at the airports or drives/walks.
  • PCR Saliva: performed without booking on all SYNLAB units, starting at 10:30 a.m., except airport units, drives, walks or partners (clinics/hospitals). Although it is possible perform this test without booking, we recommended it because clients with booking have priority.

Discover the unit that best suits your necessities here.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

The results are sent in 24-48 hours.

DO YOU SEND THE RESULTS IN ENGLISH?

The results are available in 6 languages: Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, English, French, and German. They are sent by email and/or to the SYNLAB Access App. Download the app here.

IS IT REIMBURSED?

  • Mainland: PCR Saliva and PCR Nasopharyngeal tests are 100% reimbursed by the portuguese National Healthcare System (if carried out with a prescription from a Health Centre or the SNS24 Line). Some insurances also make co-payments, but this depends on the client’s policy. Please ask your insurance company for further information. You can verify the SYNLAB units where to perform PCR tests with NHS or insurances co-payment here.
  • Madeira island: PCR Tests are not reimbursed by the Regional Healthcare System.

IS A MEDICAL PRESCRIPTION COMPULSORY?

A prescription is recommended but not compulsory.

IS THERE A PRICE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NASOPHARYNGEAL PCR AND SALIVA PCR?

No, the value is the same. The methodology used is the same (PCR) only the sample used differs.

IS THE PRICE CHEAPER FOR CHILDREN?

No, the value is the same for any age group.

IS SALIVA PCR AS RELIABLE AS NASOPHARYNGEAL PCR?

Several studies, both national and international, have shown that PCR Saliva test has a sensitivity similar to that of the current tests with nasopharyngeal samples. It should be remembered that the sensitivity of PCR tests remains substantially higher than that of rapid antigen tests, making it the most reliable method for detecting COVID-19, regardless of the sample.

Find the unit closest to you or order your test at home.
WHERE TO TEST
PCR Express Test

WHAT IS IT?

Health authorities recommend PCR tests to diagnose COVID-19.

HOW IS IT DONE?

Using a nasopharyngeal swab or Saliva.

  • PCR Nasopharyngeal: no need for fasting or special preparation.

  • PCR Saliva: you must rinse your mouth with water, 30 minutes before harvest, to clean any residues. And you cannot eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum during this time.

WHO IS IT RECOMMENDED FOR?

  • PCR Nasopharyngeal: can be performed by any adult, children, and baby of any age.

  • PCR Saliva: is especially recommended for children from 4-5 years old (younger ages have difficulty in salivating but can perform the test if they can do it), people with nasal septum deviation, intubated or people who need to be tested regularly.

WHO CAN PERFORM PCR SALIVA TEST?

PCR Saliva is especially recommended for children from 4-5 years old (younger ages have difficulty in salivating but can perform the test if they can do it), people with nasal septum deviation, intubated or people who need to be tested regularly.

DO I NEED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?

  • PCR Nasopharyngeal: mandatory booking, except in units located at the airports or drives/walks.

  • PCR Saliva: performed without booking on all SYNLAB units, starting at 10:30 a.m., except airport units, drives, walks or partners (clinics/hospitals).

Discover the unit that best suites your necessities here.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

  • SYNLAB Units: the results are sent on the same day for tests performed until 12 p.m. The results of tests performed after 12 p.m. are sent until 8 a.m. of the next day.

  • SYNLAB Airports: the results are sent in a maximum of 12h.

  • SYNLAB Lisbon Airport, International Area: the results are sent in a maximum of 4h. Exclusive for travelers with connection flights and that cannot leave the International Area of the airport.

DO YOU SEND THE RESULTS IN ENGLISH?

The results are available in 6 languages: Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, English, French, and German. They are sent by email and/or to the SYNLAB Access App. Download the app here.

IS IT REIMBURSED?

  • Mainland: PCR Saliva and PCR Nasopharyngeal tests are 100% reimbursed by the portuguese National Healthcare System (if carried out with a prescription from a Health Centre or the SNS24 Line). Some insurances also make co-payments, but this depends on the client’s policy. Please ask your insurance company for further information. You can verify the SYNLAB units where to perform PCR tests with NHS or insurances co-payment here.
  • Madeira island: PCR Tests are not reimbursed by the Regional Healthcare System.

IS A MEDICAL PRESCRIPTION COMPULSORY?

A prescription is recommended but not compulsory.

IS THERE A PRICE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NASOPHARYNGEAL PCR AND SALIVA PCR?

No, the value is the same. The methodology used is the same (PCR) only the sample used differs.

IS THE PRICE CHEAPER FOR CHILDREN?

No, the value is the same for any age group.

IS SALIVA PCR AS RELIABLE AS NASOPHARYNGEAL PCR?

Several studies, both national and international, have shown that PCR Saliva test has a sensitivity similar to that of the current tests with nasopharyngeal samples. It should be remembered that the sensitivity of PCR tests remains substantially higher than that of rapid antigen tests, making it the most reliable method for detecting COVID-19, regardless of the sample.

Find the unit closest to you or order your test at home.
WHERE TO TEST
Antigen Test

WHAT IS IT?

Rapid tests allow rapid diagnosis of active SARS-CoV-2 infection in symptomatic patients. However, they are less sensitive than PCR tests, which means that false-negative results are more likely in asymptomatic persons. False negatives may lead to new infections. Negative results should always be confirmed with a PCR test.

DO I NEED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?

Booking is mandatory in almost all SYNLAB units, and to perform the test at home. Discover the specifications of the unit that best suits your necessities here.

HOW IS IT DONE?

Using a nose or throat swab. No fasting or special preparation is required.

DO YOU PERFORM ANTIGEN TESTS IN SALIVA?

No. Rapid Saliva antigen tests are not recommended by Health Authorities. The only reliable COVID-19 tests recommended to be performed on saliva samples are PCR tests.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

The results are sent in 1-2 hours.

DO YOU SEND THE RESULTS IN ENGLISH?

The results are available in 6 languages: Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, English, French, and German. They are sent by email and/or to the SYNLAB Access App. Download the app here.

IS IT REIMBURSED?

  • Mainland: antigen tests are 100% reimbursed by the portuguese National Healthcare System (if carried out with a prescription from a Health Centre or the SNS24 Line).
  • Madeira island: free access to the rapid antigen test is provided to resident citizens or tourists, who present symptoms associated with COVID-19 – Fever equal to or greater than 38º, regardless of their vaccination status. And to citizens with or without complete vaccination, who had contact with positive covid cases. To request a free test, please consult https://s-alta.pt/CIDADAO/ and, if approved, you will receive a PIN that you need to show in the unit to perform the test.

You can verify the SYNLAB units where to perform antigen tests here.

I WANT TO SCHEDULE MY FREE ANTIGEN TEST OR WITH MEDICAL PRESCRIPTION THROUGH SYNLAB ACCESS APP BUT THE TEST VALUE APPEARS.

We are making improvements to the App. To benefit of your free antigen test paid by NHS, in step 4 regarding the ‘payment method’, select ‘pay at the unit’ option and complete your booking. Then, you just need present your national health number when you take your test. You will not have to pay any amount.

IS A MEDICAL PRESCRIPTION COMPULSORY?

A prescription is recommended but not compulsory.

Find the unit closest to you or order your test at home.
WHERE TO TEST
COVID or Flu Test (Diagnosis)

WHAT IS IT?

The COVID-19 or Flu test makes the differential diagnosis between a flu and COVID-19, evaluating which pathogen is responsible for the respiratory infection in question. Available for adults and children, it is performed using a swab. This test saves the patient unnecessary quarantines and helps the medical community to obtain a more accurate diagnosis as well as targeted and effective treatment.

DO I NEED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?

Yes, in SYNLAB units and at home. It cannot be performed at the national airports and drives/walks COVID. Discover all units and booking options here.

HOW IS IT DONE?

Using a nose and throat swab. No need for fasting or special preparation to perform the swab test.

THIS TEST CAN BE PERFORMED ON SALIVA?

No, this test cannot be performed with saliva samples.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

The results are sent in 24h - 48 hours.

DO YOU SEND THE RESULTS IN ENGLISH?

The results are available in Portuguese and English. To receive the results in English, you must request it at the SYNLAB Unit or during the home sampling. The results are sent by email and/or to your SYNLAB Access App account. Please notice that in the mobile version of the app, you can only see the result of your COVID-19 certificate. To see the complete result with all the other parameters in your mobile account, you must click in the link “PDF” that you have in the end of your COVID certificate, or access through the desktop (computer) version of your SYNLAB Access account. Download the app here.

IS IT REIMBURSED?

No.

IS A MEDICAL PRESCRIPTION COMPULSORY?

A prescription is recommended but not compulsory.

CAN THIS TEST BE USED FOR TRAVEL PURPOSES?

Yes.

Find the unit closest to you or order your test at home.
WHERE TO TEST
Anti-Spike Test (Immunity)

WHAT IS IT?

Anti-Spike antibody test (protein S) allows the detection of antibodies in people who have already taken any of the vaccines on the market. This information is very important as there are tests on the market that only use protein N and are therefore not effective in detecting immunity after taking some vaccines. It can also be performed by people who had not taken the vaccine but want to know if they have antibodies.

DO I NEED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?

This test can be performed at some SYNLAB unit, during clinical analysis hours and without booking. During the pandemic, the units' schedules undergo constant changes. We recommend that you contact the unit directly before going there. Discover all SYNLAB units that perform this test, here.

HOW IS IT DONE?

Using a blood sample. No fasting or special preparation is required.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

The results are sent in 72 hours.

IS IT REIMBURSED?

No.

IS A MEDICAL PRESCRIPTION COMPULSORY?

A prescription is recommended but not compulsory.

CAN THIS TEST BE USED FOR TRAVEL PURPOSES?

No.

Find the unit closest to you or order your test at home.
WHERE TO TEST

Install the SYNLAB Access App

Book and receive your COVID-19 or Flu, PCR or Antigen tests in one place, in your mobile phone or computer. If you want to book for a unit that is not available in the APP, please contact the unit directly.

Where to perform COVID-19 test

Search for the nearest SYNLAB test unit.

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