Monday, May 23, 2022

COVID test isolation payment to close

Tomorrow will be the final day for Victorians who have taken a PCR test to be eligible to claim the Test Isolation Payment.

Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, Martin Pakula today announced that the Victorian Government’s Test Isolation Payment was closing due to Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) reducing the need to isolate for long periods while waiting for results.

“The recommended testing method has changed with Rapid Antigen Tests providing results within minutes and eliminating the need to miss work while waiting for test results.”

“The payment was an important emergency support for many workers during the height of the pandemic, but as we enter a new phase of managing COVID-19 it’s no longer necessary,” the Minister said.

He said claims submitted before 9am on Wednesday 9 March will be assessed. Applicants must have taken a PCR test on or before Tuesday 1 March to be eligible to apply.

More than 30 million free RATs have been distributed by the Government at testing centres, to schools and early childcare facilities, and to critical workforces such as health services, aged care and food supply.

The Test Isolation Payment opened in July 2020 to support workers to stay home from work while waiting for the results of a PCR test.

The program paid $450 to eligible workers who were required to quarantine while waiting for test results. It has been an important part of the Government’s strategy to reduce the spread of the virus and financially support our most vulnerable workers.

Since the program opened, more than 1.2 million payments have been approved – worth over $545 million.

The Government said demand for the program has reduced dramatically as RATs have become more widely available. Other support, including food relief, is still available to Victorians who are financially impacted by COVID-19.

The Commonwealth Government’s Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is also available for people who have to self isolate, quarantine or need to care for someone who has to self-isolate or quarantine.

Visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au for more information.

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