Free rapid antigen testing continues in NSW despite the end of the federal program

Free rapid antigen testing (RATs) will be provided to vulnerable communities and concession cardholders in New South Wales despite the federal government abolishing its program.

The existing federal scheme, which provides free RATs to concession cardholders, is set to end at the end of the month.

The NSW government said people already eligible for free RATs under the federal scheme could continue to access the free tests under a state-funded scheme until 31 October.

The NSW Government continues the free rapid antigen testing program for concession cardholders and vulnerable communities. (Anna Kucera)

Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet has also promised that free RATs will also be available to vulnerable communities.

This includes multicultural communities, people with disabilities and their relatives, homeless services, social housing tenants and children and young people in out-of-home care.

People can get the tests through 210 neighborhoods and community centers across the state.

“We make sure that the people who need it the most get the help they need to help keep themselves and society safe through the winter by stepping in and providing free fast antigen testing,” Perrottet said .

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said he would make sure ‘no one is left behind’. (Nine)

Perrottet added that the program ensures that “no one is left behind” during the expected COVID-19 peak this winter.

“We want to keep the pressure off the state’s most vulnerable as much as possible, and the expansion of this program is an important way for us to do that,” said Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones.

That comes as NSW recorded 12,228 COVID-19 cases today and 14 deaths.

There are 2027 people in the hospital with the virus and 60 in the intensive care unit.

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