Getting a test for Covid-19 will soon become a lot easier with significant supermarkets across Australia set to introduce a new item to its shelves. Covid testing kits will soon be sold at selected supermarkets across the country as Australia continues its staged reopening plan. Coles confirmed the Hough Pharma Covid Antigen Nasal Test would be sold behind service desks at selected stores and online as early as next week. While the Chinese-manufactured test, one of eight approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, would also be on shelves at selected Woolworths stores from early November.
The test will come in packs of two and five, expected to be sold for between $10 and $30.
Users could gently swab their nose and throat from the comfort of their own home, with a result produced in just 15 minutes. People who return a positive rapid antigen test result would then need to present to a Covid-19 testing station for a standard PCR test. Australia’s medical regulator just this month ticked off on the use of approved at-home Covid-19 testing kits from November 1. But until then, rapid antigen tests could only be used under clinical supervision.
The tests have previously been used in workplaces, aged care facilities, and hospitals.
Woolworths ran a trial across four of its distribution sites in Sydney in late August where all staff and contractors were required to conduct a rapid antigen test in a pop-up clinic before entering the workplace. The supermarket giant deemed the trial a success and then rolled out the 15-minute testing across all of its distribution sites in Australia.
Woolworths Group Covid response lead Ross Spencer previously said Woolworths had not had a major Covid-19 outbreak in its Sydney distribution centers due to rapid antigen testing. “Rapid antigen tests are quick and easy and have helped us detect Covid-19 cases in team members without symptoms – this is key when dealing with the Delta variant,” he said.