Big move to stop rapid test price gouging

The penalties introduced from Saturday target people who on-sell the tests for more than 120 per cent of their original price, federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said.Penalties for failing to comply with the new requirements include up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $66,600, or both.Exporting rapid antigen tests out of Australia without an exemption has also been banned. The measures will be in force until at least February 17.The federal government says it’s also working with the pharmacy sector and major retailers to prevent hoarding and bolster the supply of RAT kits by limiting how many people can buy at a time.Having a PCR and RAT test remains free for people suspected to have Covid, through government-run testing clinics.The new rules come after weeks of extreme testing shortages across the country, despite Covid cases continuing to skyrocket. Lines for PCR tests typically stretch for hours while people in Victoria and New South Wales have reported waiting up to a week for results. However, both state and federal governments have ordered tens of millions of rapid antigen tests which are expected to be distributed within the next month.

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