Rapid Antigen Test Frees Millions of People in Australia

Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) is provided free of charge to over 6 million people in Australia.Prime Minister Morrison announcement After the National Ministerial Meeting on Wednesday.

Morrison has confirmed that not everyone in Australia has access to the test for free. However, the Prime Minister said concession card holders can take up to 10 free tests in 3 months through the pharmacy (up to 5 times a month).

This is after the proliferation of COVID-19 cases amid the outbreak of Omicrons, which forced the PCR testing center to close due to overwhelming demand due to the need for PCR testing on interstate highway trips. That is.

New policy Applies to anyone with a pension concession card, federal senior healthcare card, old Veterans Affairs, white or orange card, healthcare card, and low-income health card, covering more than 6.6 million people nationwide. increase.

People who have symptoms and are designated as close contacts can also get a free test at a state clinic instead of going to a pharmacy.

“Universal free access was not considered the correct policy response by all the states and territories present today, and the federal government,” Morrison said. “If you are not in close contact and you have no symptoms, you do not need to be tested. That is the advice.”

Epoch Times Photo
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is holding a face mask at a press conference held at the Parliament Building in Canberra, Australia on December 22, 2021. (AAP Image / Lukas Coch)

“We need to focus these test resources on the essential tests we need, not the casual tests.”

Free tests will be available in the next two weeks. The cost of providing the test is shared half and half between the federal and state and territories.

A series of changes to the COVID-19 inspection requirements have also been announced.

  • Those who test positive for RAT do not need to check the results with a PCR test.
  • The testing requirements for truck drivers and hospital attendees will be abolished.
  • Except for Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia, previous tests on interstate highways will be discontinued. Queensland and Tasmania will review the requirements in the coming weeks.
  • With the exception of Queensland, the second post-arrival test for international travelers will be discontinued. Queensland confirms requirements after reaching a double vaccination rate of 90%.

RAT is under the price reduction method. That is, retailers who raise prices by more than 20% face up to five years in prison or a fine of A $ 66,000.

Test purchase limits are also set to prevent hoarding and panic buying, limiting customers to one of two or five packs at a time (AAP says so, but you can’t find this in the press release. It was).

The National Cabinet will meet again on January 13.

Epoch Times Sydney Staff