Those who test positive using a rapid antigen test will no longer be required to get a PCR test under a new set of national rules just announced, but south-west MP Roma Britnell has questioned what the overhaul means locally.
A national cabinet meeting aimed at addressing supply and demand issues with testing - which had contributed to furloughing and isolation problems across the south-west - resulted in a flurry of changes to testing regulations on Wednesday night.
Among other new arrangements, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced regular testing for truck drivers, which had in part contributed to a mass exodus from the industry, would be scrapped.
International arrivals would also no longer be required to get multiple tests.
Concession card holders would be eligible for up to 10 free rapid antigen tests over the next three months.
They will receive the subsidised tests in the next fortnight.
Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell - who recently tested positive to COVID-19 - said the changes would only go so far.
"I think it's good that they've altered the testing regime and that national cabinet has made some changes," she said.
"However from the south-west perspective it doesn't really assist us much because there are no RAT tests available and that's what caused the pandemonium in the last three or four days.
"South West Healthcare have done a terrific job to just do what they've done all along and to try and address the situation locally rather than stick to what the government told them to do because it hasn't really worked up here. The locals have found a way around things which I'm very impressed by.
"It's a shame there was such a long waiting list for PCR tests today, but that's the result of the government not having enough RATs."
Meanwhile, changes were also made to non-urgent surgery settings.
Elective surgery will be reduced to urgent procedures for public and private hospitals from January 6.
The reductions will apply to Barwon Health.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.