Is a Covid case EXPLOSION on the cards? NSW reveals more than 55,000 people have sent in their positive RAT results in just hours – as state introduces $1000 fines for those who don’t
- More than 55,000 NSW residents have uploaded positive rapid antigen results
- The self-reporting system in NSW went live at 9am on Wednesday morning
- Fines of $1,000 have also been introduced for those who don’t report positives
In a period of a few hours since self-reporting of rapid antigen tests went live in NSW, tens of thousands of residents have uploaded their positive Covid test results.
Customer services minister Victor Dominello revealed on Wednesday afternoon that since the system went live at 9am there had been a flood of positive at-home results sent through – there have been 55,595 reported within eight hours.
Mr Perrottet said there will be a ‘grace period’ for fines, with the penalties kicking in in seven days.
Rapid antigen test reporting is now compulsory in NSW with $1,000 fines in place (stock image)
When asked why the government took so long to create their own testing system compared to other states, Mr Dominello said it was because the NSW system was more complex.
‘Most other places simply have a web form. We’re connecting it to the app because once we connect it to that app, we can then connect you healthcare services as well, and that’s the key feature of what we’re doing here in NSW,’ he said.
‘We are basically stratifying those who have Covid into two categories. Those with low risk and those with high risk.’
The premier said PCR tests will continue to be used alongside rapid tests amid the surge in cases, admitting that reporting RAT results would be hard to enforce.
‘There are obviously areas right across the state where there are laws that are harder to enforce than others – this is clearly one that will be harder to enforce, there’s no doubt about it,’ he said.
Residents aged 16 and older must log any positive at-home tests they have taken within 24 hours via the ServiceNSW app or website, in a process Premier Dominic Perrottet said is ‘seamless’.
Opposition Leader Chris Minns, who’s called on RATs to be free, on Wednesday said many people still can’t get their hands on RATs.
‘I think millions of families in the state at the moment would be saying, ‘Forget about the fine, where’s the test?” he said.
‘This is a fundamental failure of the NSW government. It’s the minimum responsibility of the government of the day to be able to tell the people in NSW whether they’ve got the disease or not.’
Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant on Wednesday apologised for the ‘messy’ transition to the testing approach, which she said had happened far quicker than authorities wanted.
She urged anyone who did not have access to RATs to take a PCR, especially if they have underlying conditions.
Mr Perrottet said PCR and RATs will both have a role in achieving good testing coverage, particularly as NSW struggles with RAT supply.
The new policy will make PCR lines and turnarounds shorter, he said.