Coles and Woolworths will sell Covid rapid tests for just $10 starting next week to screen thousands of office workers, schoolchildren and anyone with a cough without a nurse
- Coles will start stocking Covid rapid test kits in stores and online from next week
- Australians can test themselves for Covid-19 at home without a nurse
- The 15 minute turnaround kits will be available in stores from November 1
- Woolworths begins rolling out stock to ACT, NSW and Victoria from November
Australians will soon be able to test themselves for Covid-19 at home, with rapid test kits available in supermarkets.
Supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths will be selling the China-made Hough Pharma Covid Antigen Nasal Test for home use next week.
The 15-minute turnaround kits are one of eight rapid antigen tests approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic and Goods Administration.
Covid-19 rapid antigen test kits will be available at Coles stores next week, available in packs of two and five ranging from $10 to $30
Coles will be the first to stock the kits starting next week, available in packs of two and five, both in-store and online.
Woolworths said it plans to make the home tests available in select stores from November, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The supermarket giant will roll out the stock in states and territories with ongoing outbreaks with ACT, NSW and Victoria first on the list.
Prices for home test kits can range from as little as $10 to $30.
Woolworths said it would start stocking shelves from November but would prioritize stores with Covid outbreaks in the ACT, NSW and Victoria
Rapid antigen testing can only be performed by a healthcare provider at work, hospital, or aged care facilities until November 1
From November 1, Australians will be able to test themselves for Covid-19 at home using one of eight TGA-approved rapid test kits.
Until then, rapid antigen testing can only be performed by medical personnel in workplaces, hospitals and retirement homes.
Last month, TGA chief professor John Skerrit said the regulator was working with state and territory leaders to quickly get the tests approved for use.
Abroad, the kits, which look like pregnancy tests, have been in use for many months to help with returning to the workplace safely and traveling abroad.
The tests in Britain are so readily available that people have started using them before visiting elderly relatives or going out for a night out.
Professor Skerrit said the government has deliberately delayed testing in Australia until vaccination rates are higher.
Run at home for 15 minutes Covid-19 test kits will be available to Australians from November 1
He justified this by saying that the likelihood of false negatives or people hiding test results was less critical when most of the population was vaccinated.
Founder and Managing Director of Respond Global Dr. Ian Norton said he hoped states would soon figure out how to use rapid test data to improve outbreak control.
“I’m not sure how the states are getting involved in this conversation and how over-the-counter testing can be used in a positive way,” he said.
“We need to look at some form of registration similar to the UK where people upload their rapid test results online to the public health system.”