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New COVID testing rules for travellers from April

·Personal Finance Editor
·2-min read
COVID Testing: People arriving at an airport in Australia after travel restrictions eased.
International travellers will no longer have to provide proof of a negative COVID test before coming to Australia. (Source: Getty)

In yet another move towards easing restrictions, travellers will no longer have to take a pre-departure COVID test before hopping on a flight to visit our shores from 17 April.

The Federal Government is ditching the requirement for international visitors to provide a negative COVID-19 test before coming to Australia.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the decision was made on health advice, and that other requirements would remain in place.

"Given that the vaccination requirements remain and the masking requirements, the medical advice is that [the test] would no longer be required," he said.

"Particularly as there are some challenges in some jurisdictions in having access to those tests or providing those tests."

Hunt said he had spoken to the CEOs of both Virgin Australia and Qantas and both airlines were aware of the coming change.

"That was the view, that we progressively take away those items which are no longer required,” he said.

Border reopening

The pre-departure testing requirements have been in place since January 23, with international travellers being required to show a negative test result before being allowed on the plane.

In 2019, approximately 9.4 million tourists visited Australia from overseas.

The tourism industry has suffered the consequences of border closures for the past two years, and is hoping for a boost in the 2022 Federal Budget, which is set to be released next Tuesday, March 29.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) CEO Daniel Gschwind told Yahoo Finance what the industry was requesting in this year’s Budget, which will likely serve as an election sweetener as the Coalition attempts to avoid a widely tipped election defeat.

He said “top of the list” was gaining government assistance in addressing a decimated workforce and investing in new tourist attractions.

Other big-ticket items include increasing internet connectivity, protecting iconic heritage items and addressing crippling insurance costs.

“We have to reactivate and fund the appropriate attraction of overseas workers, skilled and other categories, to help us with our labour pool,” Gschwind said.

“That involves working on the visa conditions and charges for visas and so on, but we also have to be really strong and support the industry to attract Australians into long-term careers.”

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