Free rapid antigen tests for concession card holders:PM Scott Morrison


Photo- @VicGovDH

MELBOURNE, 5 January 2022: Prime Minister Scott Morrison today announced ten free rapid antigen tests for concession cardholders for three months. He also announced the cutting down of the need for multiple tests for international arrivals and tests for truck drivers and people with a positive RAT need not have a PCR test. The PM was addressing a live media conference after a meeting of the National Cabinet today.


Video-YouTube/SAT-NN

A media release says: “The National Cabinet agreed that up to 10 Rapid Antigen Tests over three months (a maximum of 5 in a month) will be made available free through pharmacies to people holding the following cards:

· Pension Concession Card

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· Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card

· Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold, White or Orange Card

· Health Care Card

· Low Income Health Card

These free tests will become available in the next two weeks. However, anyone with COVID-19 symptoms and close contacts should attend a state clinic for free testing and not go to a pharmacy to receive a free test. Costs for providing these tests will be shared 50:50 between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories consistent with COVID shared funding agreements.”

It further says, ” National Cabinet agreed changes to testing requirements for all states except for Western Australia including:

· Removing the requirement for truck drivers to have rolling seven days tests.

· Testing will not be required before patients present to hospital.

· Confirmation PCR test will not be required after a positive RAT. Individual states and territories will provide further information on how a positive RAT will be recorded. Anyone who tests positive is encouraged to contact their GP for support as required.

· Testing before interstate travel will no longer be required except for Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia, with Queensland and Tasmania to review these requirements in the coming weeks. State testing clinics will not be able to be used for interstate travel purposes.

· A second post arrival test for international travelers will not be required except for Queensland, who will review this requirement when they reach 90 per cent double vaccination rate.

More to come

By Neeraj Nanda

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