Thanks to the stratospheric surge of Omicron cases sweeping the country, 2022 is already getting off to a rocky start. Since PCR testing capacities are being stretched to breaking point, the latest advice from both federal and state health authorities is for asymptomatic people to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) rather than joining hours-long testing queues.
There’s just one catch: supplies of self-swab tests are in such short supply across Australia that it can be damn near impossible to find a pharmacy or supermarket that has them in stock. This has led to price gouging, pushing the cost of a single test as shockingly high as 45 dollars.
But as was the case during the vaccine rollout, when booking a Pfizer jab was similarly torturous, the internet has come to the rescue. Launching on Monday, January 3, the Find a RAT website has real-time info on where tests are in stock. The site covers every major city in Australia, including Alice Springs in the NT, Launceston in Tasmania and Cairns in North Queensland.
Be warned – even with relatively up-to-the-minute info, testing kits can run out quickly at listed stockists, so it's recommended to call ahead of time before heading out to make your purchase. Check out the Find a RAT website here.
Woolworths is also offering an online stock tracker via its website.