PCR tests will require a referral from January 1

A testing clinic in Penrith in 2020.
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Australia has announced a major shift in the way it deals with COVID-19, with PCR testing requiring a referral from January 1.

A year on from the COVID summer of chaos that saw people line up for hours to get a swan, PCR testing will be all but phased out within weeks.

From January 1, a referral will be required to obtain a Medicare-funded PCR test.

The Federal Government says it will align COVID-19 testing requirements with arrangements associated with other respiratory illnesses.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said Australia can expect to experience new waves of COVID on a regular basis for the next twoyears.

“The Australian Government will continue to respond to these waves as they occur – with a particular focus on protecting those most at risk in our community,” he said.

“The severity of future waves may be milder, placing less pressue on the health system.”

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