COVID-19: Australia pre-arrival testing scrapped
As of today, Monday 18 April, the Department of Home Affairs no longer requires arrivals into Australia, whether tourists or returning citizens, to have a negative COVID test result within 72 hours of arrival.
This is in line with progress towards streamlined travel in the ‘living with COVID-19’ world. Remember hotel quarantine?
Vaccination still required
However, don’t think we have returned to pre-COVID times. As Greg Hunt, the current Federal Health Minister says:
“International travellers into and out of Australia will still be required to provide proof of double vaccination against COVID-19. Travellers will also still be required to wear a mask while on international flights based on medical advice.”Greg Hunt, Federal Health Minister
It’s been 2 years since Australia closed its borders to foreign travellers, and to locals, with some limited exceptions.
Although this is a trend internationally, make sure you check with your travel agent, or with the government websites of the countries you are visiting, as requirements change all the time. For instance, New Zealand, which is slowly opening up, still required a negative or supervised RAT test negative result on arrival, as well as requiring a test after landing.
I love digital, except when my phone dies, which happened to me on the last night of my recent visit to New Zealand
I sit on the fence on this. I can certainly see that this will make travel easier and more efficient, but I am concerned that it will do little to stop the spread of COVID. On the other hand, with reports of some European and southern America rorting of the system, where you can get the negative result you need just by paying inflated prices, without actual testing. Didn’t we use to call that a bribe? I can see why some argue that the system is ineffective.
I’d stick with the health advice?