The day six rapid antigen test for confirmed COVID-19 cases has been scrapped by National Cabinet after yesterday’s announcement.
The Prime Minister’s office issued a statement today stating a confirmed COVID-19 cases should continue to take PCR tests if they are symptomatic, instead of a rapid antigen test (RAT) on day six.

“Further to National Cabinet on 30 December 2021, and following further consultation with the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Health Officers, leaders have also agreed to remove the requirement for a Day 6 RAT for confirmed cases in isolation,” the statement said.

A COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kit
The day six rapid antigen test for confirmed cases has been scrapped. (Flavio Brancaleone)

“If confirmed cases remain symptomatic, they should remain in isolation.”

“Anyone with symptoms will continue to seek a PCR test.”

However, the day six rapid antigen test for close contacts remains in place.

This follows Scott Morrison announcing changes to isolation periods for close contacts and confirmed cases yesterday following an emergency meeting of National Cabinet.

The isolation period for confirmed cases changed to seven days, however with today’s statement if a person continues to have symptoms they will isolate for longer than seven days.

The PM has announced a new national definition of close contacts.
The PM announced a new national definition of close contacts yesterday. (9News)

A person’s isolation period starts again if a person continues to be symptomatic and test positive past day seven, the Prime Minister’s office confirmed to 9News on Thursday night.

The additional quarantine period means they would not be allowed to stop isolating until after at least 12 days.

This means people may enter a longer quarantine than was previously in place in NSW and Victoria, where the duration was 10 days.

With the surge of COVID-19 cases around Chirstmas Day, testing clinics descended into chaos in parts of the country. Travelling and clinic shutdowns due to reduced holiday hours meant testing clinics faced huge demands. People lined up for hours in drive-through testing lines, while hundreds were even turned away. At a testing clinic in Bondi cars were bumper-to-bumper as they waited in line for a test.
The changes to the definition of a close contact aimed to reduce lengthy testing queues. (Getty)

A new definition of close contacts came into place from midnight last night across five jurisdictions.

NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT agreed to the terms.

“A close contact is a household contact, or household like, of a confirmed case only,” Mr Morrison said.

“A household contact is someone who lives with a case or has spent more than four hours with them in our house, accommodation or care facility setting.”

Close contacts will still need to isolate for seven days from their exposure date.

A sign on display advises the public to the requirements of face masks.

How Australia faced the emergence of the Omicron variant

An asymptomatic close contact must take a rapid test, while a close contact who is symptomatic or who returns a positive RAT test must have a PCR test.

Mr Morrison said there was no need for anyone who did not fulfil the close contact definition to line up for PCR tests.

Source: 9News

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