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.”