Watch traffic queues across street blocks as PCR tests grapple with surge in demand

Calls are continuing to replace the PCR test requirements for interstate travellers with the faster rapid antigen tests as congestion continues to plague clinics across the nation.

Residents of NSW in particular have faced enormous wait times, some in excess of 12 hours, in order to access xthe gold standard PCR tests.

Drive-through PCR clinics have consistently opened to traffic queues up blocks of streets this week as the nation continues to grapple with the Omicron outbreak.

In Queensland, the requirement for travellers to show proof of a negative test on their fifth day in the state has been downgraded, with visitors now able to use rapid antigen tests instead.


Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said on Tuesday that of the tens of thousands who have crossed the Queensland border, only 0.6 per cent have recorded a positive test on day five.

Waiting times for results in NSW have blown out to more than four days in some cases, leading the state's health minister Brad Hazzard to call for the requirement's removal.

"It is taking up to four days, sometimes five days to get test results," Mr Hazzard said on Tuesday.

"They might have been negative on day one when they had their test, but they could well be positive on day four or day five when they cross the border."

It comes after nearly a thousand tests were incorrectly processed at the weekend, with hundreds of positive COVID-19 cases being wrongly told they tested negative.

In the ACT, testing clinics have had to open earlier during the holiday period to accommodate the increased traffic.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said this week that it was believed half of the territory's tests were being conducted for travel purposes.


This story Traffic chaos, hours in line as PCR test clinics inundated first appeared on The Canberra Times.