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Free Rapid Antigen Tests for concession card holders

FREE rapid antigen tests (RATs) are now available to everyone who holds a current Australian Commonwealth concession card.

The Federal Department of Health is providing up to 10 RATs to each card holder over a three-month period, with a maximum of five tests in a month, so they may test themselves for COVID-19 in their own homes at no cost.

People who have been issued with any of the following concession cards are eligible for the free RATs.

  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
  • Health Care Card
  • Low Income Health Care Card
  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold, White or Orange card.

Card-holders don’t need to contact the Department of Health to claim their free RATs.

All they have to do is to call into their local participating community pharmacy and show either their physical concession card or their digital card via the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

A Department of Health spokesman said, “you will need to give consent to the pharmacy to record your concession card details to confirm they are valid.

“You will also need to tell the pharmacy whether RATs have already been provided to you and how many remain in your quota.

“On your visit to your local community pharmacy, you will be given a minimum of two RATs for each eligible individual. You can ask for up to the monthly limit of five RATs per eligible individual at any one time, with supply subject to availability.

“RATs will be increasingly available from pharmacies and other retailers over time,” the spokesman said.

“Before planning a trip to your local community pharmacy, we recommend you phone ahead of your visit to make sure new supplies have arrived.”

The Department of Health spokesman said concession card holders “can get a carer or guardian to pick up your RATs if you’re eligible but can’t get them yourself.

“They will need to show your card when they go to the pharmacy,” he said.

“We also ask all card holders to only go to a pharmacy if you’re well, in order to protect others from COVID-19, 

“You should go to your state or territory testing clinic if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are a close contact. They’ll test you for free.”

Find out where to collect your free RAT from a local community pharmacy on the Pharmacy Guild of Australia website at


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