COVID-19 self-testing kits will be available for purchase through convenience stores, pharmacies and online from 1 November.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt made the announcement yesterday stating that it is a critical step towards supporting Australians and the national plan.

“The TGA (Therapeutic Goods Australia), at my request, has been going through a thorough assessment. They will now move to make these tests available from 1 November, and there are two steps. Additionally, one is that we have to have individual applications approved – so specific tests have to be shown to be safe and effective.

“The second thing is obviously to ensure that each of the states and territories is in a position to accept that. But from a national perspective, home testing will be available from 1 November.”

Theo Foukkare, CEO of the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), welcomes the announcement that Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) kits will be available for home use.

“Home testing has been utilised in many countries around the world to manage the ongoing spread of COVID, so I am happy that Minister Greg Hunt has taken the step to broaden availability and accessibility of these tests for everyday Australians to help protect themselves, their families and their communities. Our retail members stand ready to support the government in making these home testing kits available across as many of the 7000+ outlets around the country.”

The TGA have so far received over 70 expressions of interest with 33 tests already approved for supervised use. From 1 October companies can formally apply for TGA regulatory approval to legally supply their self-tests for use at home.

For tests to be granted TGA approval they must be safe and effective, include easy-to-understand instructions, have user support available, have been tested by untrained and unsupervised users, and must perform satisfactorily against variants such as Delta.

“Well, it will now be up to the individual firms to put forward their applications. But we already have 33 tests that have been approved for use outside the home, so I imagine they’ll be able to be converted,” added Hunt.

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