Dom Perrottet Has Announced $1000 Fines For Failing To Report Your Positive RAT Result

It's unclear how the fine will actually be enforced.

$1000 rapid antigen test

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New South Wales residents who fail to register their positive rapid antigen test (RAT) results with Service NSW will be fined $1000, Premier Dominic Perrottet announced on Wednesday.

The announcement comes as the state has recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic so far with 34,759 new cases and 21 deaths logged overnight. But instead of making it easier to get your hands on a RAT or offering more support to the thousands of New South Wales residents currently battling the Omicron variant, the premier has simply decided to slap anyone who doesn’t report their results with a $1000 fine.

Anyone who has tested positive with a RAT since January 1 is required to log their result via the Service NSW app, with a one-week grace period before fines are enforced on January 19.

When you register your result with Service NSW, you will be asked a series of questions that will determine your level of risk as a COVID patient. This will allow the government to allocate resources accordingly while you isolate.

“Over 99.99 per cent of people, they will be in that low-risk setting, and will be able to resolve COVID at home simply by resting and going through the requisite isolation,” said Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello.

“Those at higher risk, you will get a call or be contacted by NSW Health within 48 hours, and with a further survey, to make sure that you are okay.”

According to Dominello, more than 13,800 people have already registered their result through the app as of 10.30am on Wednesday, January 12.

Supply shortages and price gouging also mean that it’s currently pretty difficult to get your hands on an affordable rapid antigen test. And even if you manage to find a RAT — and you test positive — lodging this with Service NSW has its own accessibility issues.

Not only is the website prone to crashing when a high volume of people try to access it at once,  the app and the webpage for reporting your positive RAT results are only available in English.

This, in addition to the fact that instructions to actually use a rapid antigen test are often not available in languages other than English, means that people from non-English speaking background may struggle to interpret and record their results, which could lead to a fine.

“Every day the rules are changing and it makes it more difficult for people from non-English backgrounds,” Afghan woman Fatema Hassib — who tested positive for COVID — told SBS of the language barriers with testing.

“People from non-English backgrounds and migrants, they don’t know how to use the rapid tests and that’s why they don’t get the right results.”

Here’s How To Register Your RAT Results With Service NSW:

  • Open the Service NSW app.
  • Click ‘COVID-19 Resources’.
  • Select ‘Register a positive test result’, this will open a web page link to the Service NSW website.
  • Follow the prompts to register your result.

It remains unclear how the NSW government will actually enforce the fine, considering there’s no logistical way to prove if people have tested positive with a rapid antigen test at home.