Industry update: More free RATs, small business support, and new materials

As we settle into eased public health and social measures the Department of Premier and Cabinet has provided an industry update across free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs), small business support, and new materials.

Free RATs for Close Contacts

The WA Government’s free RAT program has expanded, with thousands of more free RATs available for collection for close contacts across regional Western Australia.

RATs will be available for collection at more than 70 additional regional COVID-19 testing sites across the state, in the Gascoyne, Goldfields-Esperance, Great Southern, Kimberley, Midwest, Peel, Pilbara, South West and Wheatbelt regions.

To access free RATs at these locations, people with no symptoms are required to verbally confirm they are a close contact to access their 10 free RATs. They may also collect RATs for other close contacts in their household up to a maximum of 30 RATs.

The additional locations support the testing protocols for asymptomatic close contacts who need to return a daily negative RAT. A full list of collection points can be read on the WA free RAT program page on WA.gov.au.

Posters and Signage

If you haven’t seen it already, check out the updated Posters and Signage Hub. For stakeholders who would like to encourage hygiene habits and mask wearing, or venues that require masks, new posters have been developed.

The Department of Premier and Cabinet ask that you please share these assets so we can continue to promote these important messages throughout winter and the cooler months.

Updated Advice for COVID-19 Vaccinations

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have released updated advice on when you should receive a COVID-19 vaccination. ATAGI now recommends:

  • Waiting three months after having COVID-19 before getting your next vaccine dose
  • Extending dose intervals for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to 8 weeks (previously three – four weeks) to improve the immune response to vaccination.

More information about the advice is available on WA.gov.au.

COVID-19 Assistance for WA Businesses

More local businesses are now eligible for COVID-19 assistance with the expansion of the Level 2 COVID-19 Business Assistance Package. Businesses that experienced a 40 per cent reduction in turnover over a two-week consecutive period between 1 January and 30 April 2022 could now be eligible for a grant of up to $50,000, depending on the size of the business and number of employees.

So, if you know and love a local business that’s been doing it tough with COVID-19 this year, tell them to check out the Small Business Development Corporation’s website to see if they’re eligible to apply for assistance so they can continue contributing to our community.

The Small Business Development Corporation is also hosting a free webinar at 10am on Thursday 12 May to help give eligible businesses the best chance of completing a successful grant application. This will cover eligibility criteria, the myGovID verification process, how to complete your application and the evidence you will need to get ready. Please register to attend.

Critical Worker Furloughing Policy

With the announcement of eased baseline public health measures and updates to close contacts guidelines, the WA Government’s Critical Worker Furloughing Policy is no longer in effect. Workers should follow the requirements for close contacts with no symptoms, and workers in high-risk settings are subject to additional obligations when at their workplace.

We also encourage you to share the latest info from the WA Government Facebook and Twitter pages across your social media channels.