Australia will scrap pre-departure testing for inbound travellers on April 17.
This is one of a number of changes announced by Health Minister, Greg Hunt, as Australia adopts a new approach to COVID-19, as reported on news.com.au.
Previously, all travellers, including vaccinated people, were required to show a negative test certificate before being allowed to board an Australia-bound flight.
Now the Minister has said he won’t renew the COVID biosecurity orders. These covered, among other rules, mandatory pre-departure testing, restrictions on outbound travel for unvaccinated Australians, and restrictions on cruise ships, and have been renewed eight times. The Minister said the country was ready to move on from the emergency declarations, on the advice of the government’s medical advisers.
“We can’t keep an emergency in place just in case,” said Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly. “Of course, we can always relook at that in the future, but for the moment, this is the time to move on.”
However, the requirement for proof of full vaccination will remain (at least two doses of a TGA-approved COVID vaccine) and masks will still be required on both domestic and international flights.
Australians over 65 and vulnerable residents are going to be advised to get an extra jab (a fourth jab, or a second booster) before winter. Local press say this could be administered along with a flu shot.
From April 17, the two-year ban on cruise ships entering Australian ports will be dropped.