Changes to COVID-19 testing requirements and density restrictions

Significant changes to COVID-19 testing came into effect from 11:59pm on 7 January 2022. Victorians will no longer have to receive a PCR test to be diagnosed with COVID-19. Instead, under new pandemic orders that came into effect at 11.59pm on 6 January, people who test positive on a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) will be considered probable cases and be subject to the same requirements as confirmed cases from a PCR test – they must isolate immediately for seven days and notify their contacts.

It will be mandatory to report the result of a positive RAT to the Department of Health through an online form or by phone. When a probable case is reported to the Department of Health, you will be asked questions about your symptoms and will be provided with critical information on your next steps, information on isolation periods and where to seek care and advice. Probable cases will continue to be reported alongside confirmed cases in the Victorian daily numbers.

The Victorian Government has advised that until RAT tests are in increased supply, Victorians who have symptoms, or asymptomatic household contacts required to use RATs, can still get a PCR test if they can’t access any RATs. A PCR test continues to be recommended for people who test positive on a RAT but don’t have symptoms and who aren’t contacts. Due to the increased accuracy of RATs in higher-risk groups, PCR tests will be discouraged for contacts or people with symptoms.

Due to the increase in cases, new density restrictions have also been implemented and that a density quotient of one person per two square metres will be introduced indoors at hospitality venues, including restaurants, cafés, pubs and nightclubs along with along with entertainment venues including arcades and amusement parks, casinos and gaming venues across Victoria.

Probable cases diagnosed via RAT test can reported here: Reporting your result | Coronavirus Victoria

Further information on COVID-19 can be found here: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria | Coronavirus Victoria