Rapid Antigen Testing

Rapid Antigen Tests will be a key tool at Phase Two of an Omicron outbreak. They will be available for critical workforces who are close contacts as part of a close contact exemption scheme.

Please note: this page will be updated as new information comes to hand, so please check back regularly.

Rapid Antigen Tests

Rapid Antigen Tests are COVID-19 tests that give a result much more quickly (often within 20 minutes), than the PCR tests that are currently used nationwide. However, Rapid Antigen Tests are less sensitive at detecting cases than a PCR test.

For more information on Rapid Antigen Tests, see the Ministry of Health.

Rapid antigen testing(external link) — Ministry of Health

Close Contact Exemption Scheme for critical workers

The Close Contact Exemption scheme is being introduced to help businesses manage absenteeism and continue operating as Omicron spreads.

The Close Contact Exemption scheme will come into effect when the country moves to Phase Two of the Omicron strategy and will continue in Phase Three. It allows critical services to keep workers on-site if they have been a close contact of a COVID-19 case. To do this, the worker will need to follow specific health protocols, including taking daily rapid antigen tests.

For detailed information on the close contact exemption scheme, including guidance on which services are considered critical, see:

Close Contact Exemption Scheme

For general information on managing the impact of COVID-19 cases on your business, see:

Managing the impact of COVID-19 cases at your business

Close Contact Exemption Scheme

Close Contact Exemption Scheme advice for people with COVID-19(external link) — Ministry of Health

Contact tracing for COVID-19(external link) — Ministry of Health

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