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COVID-19: Australia pre-arrival testing scrapped

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.

a shirtless man wearing a mask

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

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?

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