Rapid antigen testing no longer an alternative to vaccination

Rapid antigen testing will no longer be an alternative to vaccination, NSW Health announced on Friday night.

In order to work outside their area of concern, authorised workers must now have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Monday, September 6.

Authorised workers under the age of 16 years will be exempt from the requirement to be vaccinated.

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Dr Jeremy Cumpston conducts a COVID-19 rapid antigen test of construction workers at Mirvac Constructions Green Square site 15 in Zetland before they can start work. Zetland, NSW. 11th August, 2021. Photo: Kate Geraghty

"Vaccination is highly encouraged and workers from the LGAs of concern are offered priority bookings for vaccination," NSW Health said.

A relevant care worker 16 years and over who lives or works in an area of concern must also have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Monday, September 6 in order to attend work. This has been pushed back a week from the original date announced by the government.

This includes those who work in an early education and care facilities or who provide disability support services.

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Pfizer

"NSW Health has made a commitment to provide advice to industry on the important role rapid antigen testing can play to protect workers and prevent disease transmission, and give guidance on the types of workplaces that may benefit from such testing and inform COVID-19 Workplace Checklists and safety work plans," NSW Health said in a statement.

"Vaccination is highly encouraged and workers from the LGAs of concern are offered priority bookings for vaccination.

"In line with the amended public health order, if an authorised worker is not vaccinated or does not have a medical contraindication form, they will not be able to work outside their LGA."

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Essential workers can find times for priority bookings via the following links:

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