NSW Premier Expands Free RATs For Vulnerable Communities
Keeping safe through winter
The New South Wales government is expanding its free rapid antigen tests (RAT) to vulnerable communities amid a surge in Covid cases.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the state government is committed to not leaving anyone behind this winter, delivering 10 free RATs over three-months to concession card holders.
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The move comes despite the Federal government axing the national program at the end of the month.
Those eligible include people with disability and their carers, homelessness services, social housing tenants, multicultural groups, and children and young people in out-of-home care.
Perrottet said those in need, will not miss out.
"We are making sure those people who need it most get the help they need to help keep themselves and the community safe through winter by stepping in and providing free Rapid Antigen Tests."
"We know [RATs] work … they are a crucial part of everyone taking that responsibility as we move through this next stage of the virus … it's not going away," Mr Perrottet said.
The Covid at-home testing kits will be available through 210 neighbourhood and community centres located across the state.
The move comes ahead of an emergency National Cabinet meeting on Monday.
Perrottet said he hope to strike a "balance" between budget needs and those of casual workers during his discussions with the Prime Minister on Monday.
"I think it's unfair that when the state imposes public health orders on people, that restrict their liberty and their capacity to work, for the [federal] government to not provide financial support," Mr Perrottet said.
The Premier will also push for the return of pandemic leave payments
The $750-a-week self-isolation payment was scrapped on June 30 just as the third Omicron wave started to pick up speed.
Mr Perrottet said it's a conversation that needs to be had.
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