Very soon, Australians may no longer have to line up for hours to be tested for COVID-19.


From November 1, Australians will be able to test themselves for COVID-19 at home—something some other parts of the world are doing already. The 'rapid antigen tests' are currently under-going approval for personal use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). But what is a rapid antigen test, and what else is there you need to know?

It's a COVID-19 test you can do at home that will tell you whether or not you have the virus.

It's done the same way as at a clinic—you still have to stick the swab up your nose.

The results come back within 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the test.

Some rapid antigen tests can be used on children aged two years or older.

In Australia, home tests can only be used under the direct supervision of a qualified health professional.

Australians will be able to buy the tests to use on themselves from November 1.

The TGA has approved 33 tests for use under supervision, and Health Minister Greg Hunt said suppliers are welcome to apply for at-home use approval. 

It is not yet known how much the home test will cost but in the US they are as low as $US25.

However, Australians need to be aware that these tests are not as accurate as the tests carried out by professionals and checked in a laboratory.


Sep 2021 ABC Australia COVID-19 rapid antigen home testing to be available from November

Sep 2021 The Guardian Australians could access rapid home testing for Covid from November

Sep 2021 Rapid antigen test kits available to Australians from November 1