Access to free rapid antigen tests is being expanded to help with the early detection and treatment of COVID.
All Victorians can pick up a free packet of RATs at any state testing site until 31 December 2022.
Concession card holders, people with a disability and those aged 70 and over can continue to access RATs through participating local councils.
As part of changes to COVID services in Victoria from 1 January 2023, people requiring a PCR test must go to a GP respiratory clinic or have a GP referral to a private pathology provider.
For more details, please visit the ‘Get a COVID test’ page on the Victorian Government website.
Frequently asked questions
How can I get a PCR test?
Due to lower demand, you can now only access PCR testing through a GP respiratory clinic or a GP referral to a private pathology provider. Please visit the ‘Get a COVID test’ page on the Victorian Government website for more information.
Will there be eligibility requirements to get a PCR test?
You will need a referral from a GP or other clinician to get a PCR test. They will decide whether you require a PCR test based on your symptoms and medical condition.
Who can collect free RATs through state-funded testing sites?
All Victorians are eligible to collect free rapid antigen tests through state-funded testing sites until 31 December 2022. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and keep some at home for when you get COVID.
How many free RATs can I collect?
Each person is eligible to collect two packs of rapid antigen test. You are not required to have a Medicare card.
Who can collect free RATs through the council RAT program?
The local council RAT program is available to those aged 70 and above; have a disability, are immunocompromised or a carer; hold a Seniors, Pensioner Concession, Commonwealth Senior Health Care, Low Income Health Care, or Department of Veterans Affairs Gold, White or Orange card.
Eligible people can get 5 free tests. People with disability and their carers can get 20 free tests.
How can I find out if my council is participating in the program?
Contact your local council to find out if they are participating and where they have established pick-up points.
How do I get a PCR referral if I’m symptomatic?
If possible, symptomatic people should request a telehealth appointment to get a PCR referral.
Do I have to pay for a PCR test?
You may need to pay a fee to get a PCR test if you don’t have a referral.