On June 3, 2022, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced that the federal government will end distribution of COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests (“RAT”) to the provinces and territories by December 2022.
Currently, publicly funded PCR testing is restricted to high-risk groups, including those who are immunocompromised, those who are 70 years of age and older, or those who belong to select age groups and have fewer than three vaccine doses. Individuals may also purchase private COVID-19 tests.
Employers should continuously review and update their health and safety policies to reflect the changing reality of the pandemic and the impact of testing availability on in-person work. For example, some employers have policies that require employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 to provide a negative COVID-19 test result to return to in-person. However, with changes to freely available RAT, these employers should consider paying for tests.