Home COVID-19 tests approved in Australia, available from November

Rapid home tests are a few weeks away, as Australia recorded its worst-ever day of COVID-19 cases but authorities expressed hope of making lockdowns history.

A COVID 19 rapid antigen test.

Three brands of COVID-19 self-test kits are set to hit pharmacy shelves on 1 November. (AAP) Source: AAP

Three COVID-19 self-test kits with an accuracy of around 97 per cent will hit pharmacy shelves on 1 November.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has given the Chinese-made tests the green light, as attention turns from lockdowns to living with the virus.

Two of the rapid antigen tests involve spitting in a tube while the third is a nasal swab.

The instructions note that if there is a positive result, confirmation must be sought via a laboratory PCR test.

The tests come as Victoria posted a massive COVID-19 increase on Thursday with 2,297 new infections and 11 deaths while NSW reported 406 locally acquired cases and six fatalities.

There were 41 new cases in Canberra where lockdown ended at midnight.

It is the biggest daily case increase in one day during the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked about the concerning spike in his home state, Health Minister Greg Hunt urged Victorians to come forward for vaccination and keep following health measures.

"It's another difficult day in Victoria but we'll get there, we really will," he said.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was optimistic that high vaccination rates would provide the "ticket out of the crisis".

"Lockdowns cannot be there forever," he said.

Victoria's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Sonya Bennett said testing, contact tracing, public health measures and hygiene would also be required.

Australia has fully vaccinated 65.4 per cent of its eligible population aged 16 and over, while more than 83.6 per cent have received their first dose.

Published 15 October 2021 at 5:54am, updated 15 October 2021 at 7:03am
Source: AAP - SBS