The NSW Government will provide up to 7.9 million free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to higher risk groups, including people with disability, young people in out-of-home care, multicultural and Aboriginal communities to support early identification and treatment for COVID-19.

Member for Goulburn, Wendy Tuckerman said that the RATs will be available to help protect some of the most vulnerable in our community.

“Early diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 is vital, especially for higher risk cohorts like people with disability,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“Free RATs are being rolled out through disability service providers and neighbour centres, improving access to these important tools in the fight against coronavirus.”

The program will initially run for four months, with a review to determine whether it should be extended toward the end of winter.

 “It is great to see the Government making it a priority to protect some of the most vulnerable in our community by allowing people with disability to access as many RATs as they need,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said a total of up to 7.9 million RATs will be available across NSW as part of the initiative.

“We want to ensure that RATs are easily accessible to those who need it most, to keep them safe against COVID-19 through the coming winter period,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.

Vulnerable people who test positive for COVID-19 on a RAT are reminded to confirm the result with a PCR test to enable timely access to anti-viral medications and medical support, should it be required.