Australia changes its entry requirements as it opens its borders. (Photo: Junior S. Ami)

CANBERRA, 18 APRIL 2022(SAMOA OBSERVER)—Travellers will not be required to provide evidence of a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test when boarding an international flight to Australia with the new policy effective 18 April 2022.

The travel policy change is part of Australia’s new entry requirements as it re-opens its international borders. 

The announcement was made by Australia’s Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt. As Australia moves towards living with COVID-19, some of the emergency measures that will be dropped include the negative pre-departure tests for travellers entering Australia.

Other measures that will be abandoned include restrictions on the entry of cruise vessels into and within Australian territory and price gouging rules on rapid antigen tests as supply is strong and to date more than 509 million RATs have arrived in Australia.  

The Health Minister highlighted that following medical advice, the Biosecurity Emergency Determination relating to COVID-19 for Australia will not be renewed when it lapses on 17 April.

“I am taking this decision now so as to provide forward guidance based on the advice of the Professor Paul Kelly, the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer,” he said. “The emergency period was a crucial early decision in Australia’s pandemic response.  

“It has saved tens of thousands of lives as Australia avoided some of the worst outcomes from the early spread of the virus and now has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.”

In addition, 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. 

“These measures will be implemented under the non-emergency provisions in the Biosecurity Act. The requirements for maritime arrivals will also be aligned with those on airlines, as part of the safety protocols for the resumption of cruising.

“The Morrison Government has taken strong action over the course of the pandemic to protect Australians. Shutting the international borders early was a tough but decisive action, which enabled Australia to manage the pandemic and minimise the loss of life.”

Australia’s Minister of Health said the past two years have been challenging but the country has shown that it has people caring for each other, working from home, home schooling, and more importantly being vaccinated….PACNEWS

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.