Big COVID travel rules announced

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Australia has announced big changes to its international arrivals, no longer requiring overseas travellers to produce a negative PRC test and will instead accept a RAT result.

Current regulations require overseas travellers to return a negative PCR test taken up to three days before their flight, but from 1am on Sunday, arrivals can instead provide a negative RAT from within 24 hours of boarding.

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The change is consistent with domestic measures, where RATs have been accepted as a diagnostic tool used by some states, including Victoria and NSW, to report new daily COVID cases.

The time a person is banned from entering the country after testing positive to COVID-19 has also been cut in half, from 14 days to seven, bringing it in line with domestic isolation requirements.

But quarantine requirements upon entry remain subject to state and territory restrictions.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has so far approved 22 types of COVID-19 test kits. Credit: AAP

Qantas has already been forced to review its Perth to London route, expected to restart in late March, after WA Premier Mark McGowan backflipped on his promise to reopen the border on February 5.

More than 20,000 people scheduled to fly to Perth on Qantas and Jetstar flights alone in the first week the West Australian borders were set to reopen will also have to revise their plans.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the situation was “deeply concerning”, with the premier having previously said the scheduled February 5 reopening date would provide certainty.

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