Pop-up holiday schedule for rapid antigen tests
Find out when and where you can access free COVID-19 rapid antigen tests during the holiday season.
In response to the rapidly spreading and highly transmissible Omicron variant, we are taking further action to provide additional protection to high-risk settings, and continue to safeguard hospitals and ICU capacity as we continue to rapidly accelerate Ontario’s booster dose rollout. Based on the latest evidence and Ontario’s high rate of vaccination, we are also updating isolation and testing guidelines to maintain the stability of critical workforces, including frontline health-care workers, first responders and critical infrastructure like energy and food and supply chains.
This page is currently being updated to reflect these changes.
If you are currently experiencing symptoms or have been recently exposed to a COVID-19 positive person, do not visit a rapid antigen screening pop-up site. Rapid antigen tests are used as an additional screening tool only for asymptomatic individuals and not for diagnostic purposes.
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To provide an additional layer of protection against covid 19 and variants including Omicron, Ontario is launching a holiday testing blitz to offer voluntary rapid antigen screening to individuals free of charge at pop-up sites across the province. This initiative is part of the government’s enhanced covid 19 testing strategy to mitigate the increased risk of transmission over the holiday season.
Throughout December to mid-January, up to two million rapid tests will be provided free of charge at pop-up sites in high-traffic locations such as malls, retail settings, holiday markets, public libraries and transit hubs.
People without symptoms of covid 19 or people who have not had recent exposure to someone with covid 19 will be able to pick up a package of free tests from a pop-up site, while supplies last, or get a free test performed on-site.
Most sites will distribute free take-home rapid antigen test kits, and some will offer testing on-site. Every person that receives a package of tests or gets a test on-site will be provided with easy to understand information and resources about rapid antigen screening and covid 19 vaccination.
See the schedule below for more information.
Rapid antigen tests for individuals
Anyone without symptoms or who has not recently been in contact with someone with covid 19 is eligible to receive a free take-home rapid antigen test kit from a pop-up site or get a free test performed on-site as part of the government’s holiday testing blitz. You do not need an appointment to access a pop-up site. However, access to rapid antigen tests will be subject to available supply. At sites distributing tests, there is a limit of one test kit per person.
Rapid antigen holiday pop-up schedule
We are working with local partners, public health units and municipalities to determine specific pop-up sites based on local data and needs.
Rapid antigen tests are used as an additional screening tool only for asymptomatic individuals and not for diagnostic purposes. Do not visit these pop-up locations if you have symptoms of covid 19 or have been exposed to a covid 19 positive person.
Access to rapid antigen tests will be subject to available supply. At sites distributing tests, there is a limit of one test kit per person.
New locations will be posted on Fridays, and on a rolling basis as sites are confirmed. Once locations run out of tests they will be removed from the list below as soon as possible.
|Date||Start time||Location name||Address||Type of test available|
Thursday January 20, 2022
McMaster University (Bates Residence)
Advance registration is required.
|1280 Main St. W, Hamilton||Pick up Rapid Antigen Screening|
What to bring with you
If you would like to access free rapid antigen tests at a pop-up covid 19 testing holiday site, remember to:
- wear a face covering and follow the public health measures on-site at all times
- bring assistive or accessibility devices if you need them
- dress for the weather if the pop-up site is located outdoors
- not visit the pop-up site if you have any symptoms of, or have been exposed to, covid 19. Instead, you should seek testing at a designated testing location
Rapid antigen tests for organizations
The Provincial Antigen Screening Program (PASP) provides free rapid antigen test kits to high-risk communities, organizations and workplaces. Check to see if your organization is eligible and how to apply.
People who wish to get tests for an organization should not visit a pop-up site.
Vaccination against covid 19 is the most effective way to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community from covid 19 and variants including Omicron.
You can still use Ontario’s vaccine booking system to schedule an appointment at a mass immunization clinic or a participating pharmacy.
Some holiday pop-up testing sites will also serve as go-vaxx bus locations, which will offer covid 19 vaccinations as well. See the schedule above for more information.