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ABC News
ABC News

NSW scraps mandatory reporting of COVID-19 positive rapid antigen tests

The NSW government has scrapped its requirement for people to report their COVID-19 positive rapid antigen test (RAT) results.

From Friday, the registration of a positive RAT on the NSW government website or Service NSW app will no longer be mandatory. 

But the state's chief health officer Kerry Chant has asked people to continue to register their positive test results voluntarily. 

"Registering a positive RAT through Service NSW allows us to connect people to medical care, particularly older people and the immunocompromised," Dr Chant said. 

"It also helps inform our ongoing public health response."

NSW residents who failed to report a positive RAT previously faced a fine of $1,000.  

The cancellation of compulsory RAT registrations comes less than two weeks after national cabinet agreed to end mandatory isolation for COVID-19. 

From Friday, people will be permitted to go out in public in NSW even if they have tested positive for the virus.  

Dr Chant said infected people should still stay home wherever possible. 

"If you have to leave the house while unwell, wear a mask when indoors and on public transport, avoid large gatherings and indoor crowded places, and don't visit high risk settings, such as hospitals, aged or disability care facilities for at least seven days," she said. 

"It is important we continue to think of others, especially those most vulnerable."

The Victorian government has also announced it will scrap mandatory reporting of positive RATs from Thursday. 

Registration of a positive test remains compulsory in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and the ACT.  

The end of mandatory RAT reporting is likely to impact the accuracy of NSW Health’s weekly COVID reports.  

Last week, NSW recorded 10,767 new cases of COVID-19.  

More than 6,700 of these new cases – 63 per cent — were confirmed by RATs. 

Forty-one people died from COVID-19 in the state last week, and 954 people were in hospital with the virus.  

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