Free rapid testing must be immediately provided for all businesses operating in lockdown

08 Sep 2021 |

The Federal Government must move to immediately roll out free and accessible rapid antigen tests to all businesses permitted to open under lockdown restrictions and clarify current requirements for medical supervision.

“Providing free and accessible rapid antigen testing to all businesses operating under lockdown is a critical first step the government must take to reopen the economy as we learn to live with the virus,” ACCI chief executive Andrew McKellar said today.

“Even with full vaccination rates increasing, there’s still a chance that the virus can spread, highlighting the need for continuous monitoring.

“A phased rapid testing program provides an additional line of defence to give businesses the certainty and confidence they desperately need, and ensures staff and customers are safe in the workplace.

“Currently, businesses are waiting days for PCR tests to know if their workers are infectious. Workplaces that are operating in lockdowns, like supermarkets and construction sites, need to have every tool available to them to avoid snap closures and reduce the risk to their employees, their customers and the community.

“With rapid tests, we can reduce the number of cases in the community, limit the spread, and keep our economy open.

In countries like the U.S. and Britain, rapid antigen testing kits are widely used and have proved to be very effective at protecting the community.  The tests can deliver a result in just 10 minutes and are far more affordable than regular PCR tests, costing as little as $5 each.

“We are a long way behind other countries when it comes to implementing rapid antigen tests.  Without taking up these tests, we risk falling behind as the rest of the world starts to reopen,” Andrew added.

“Rapid antigen testing shouldn’t be a replacement for the PCR test or stop people from getting the jab.  These tests are an additional measure in our fight against COVID-19; to safeguard against the spread of the virus and future outbreaks.

“This is an obvious solution.  Businesses need rapid testing, and they need it now.

Jack Quail

Media Officer

P  |  0498 181 207

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