Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has urged state premiers to remove COVID PCR testing requirements for domestic travel before easing state border restrictions.
Each state’s COVID-19 exit strategy has been made public during the past two weeks.
A negative PCR COVID test within three days of transit is required by many states in Australia, including Queensland and Western Australia, when hard borders are removed in the near future.
Considering Australia’s amazingly high vaccination rates, Joyce urged the governments to do away with such testing requirements.
This gives us great confidence that we can open and remain open,” Joyce said at the Qantas AGM on Friday. “Australia is on track to have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.”
As he put it: “There will still be challenges – but the only way forwards is to invest in the restart.”
Over the past 18 months, different states used different policies when the borders were closed. There is no good news to report as we reopen. ” Travellers who have been vaccinated should anticipate being able to move freely and effortlessly. As a result, there is a wide range of entry requirements across the country.”
In the future, when Australia is more comfortable dealing with COVID, these conditions — particularly the need for constant PCR testing – may be eliminated. I think we’ve all earned that.
As of Saturday, Australia has achieved its vaccination target of 80 per cent.
On Friday, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan declared he would reopen his state’s borders to New South Wales, Victoria, and international travellers when WA’s vaccination rate in individuals aged 12 and over hits 90%.
A negative COVID PCR test 72 hours before departure will be required for all travellers entering the state. Within 48 hours of arriving in WA, visitors will also be required to undergo a second PCR test.
As of 15 December, travellers from high-risk areas like New South Wales, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) will be required to provide a negative COVID test within 72 hours of departure; however, travellers from low-risk states who are fully vaccinated will not be subject to any testing requirements.
However, PCR testing requirements will continue to be imposed on fully vaccinated interstate visitors, even if the state’s internal and international borders reopen by Christmas, according to Annastacia Palaszczuk.
As of Friday, the two most populous states in Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, have lifted their border restrictions, allowing fully vaccinated travellers to move freely between the two states.