International arrivals can soon show a negative rapid antigen test to enter Australia

The federal government has announced it will ease COVID-19 testing rules for travellers to enter Australia, scrapping the previous requirement for a PCR test.

People entering Australia only need to present a negative RAT upon arrival in a new government announcement.

People entering Australia only need to present a negative RAT upon arrival in a new government announcement. Source: AAP

Australia will allow international travellers entering the country to present a negative rapid antigen test (RAT) within 24 hours of their flight's departure. 

The federal government made the announcement on Friday afternoon, scrapping the previous requirement for travellers to present a negative PCR test three days prior to arriving in Australia. 

The move is in line with current domestic travel measures, where states and territories are accepting RATs as an appropriate public health measure to detect COVID-19. 

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"While PCR tests remain the gold standard test, a RAT within 24 hours is an acceptable indicator of whether a traveller has COVID-19 before flying to Australia," the joint statement released by Health Minister Greg Hunt and Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said. 



The new rules will come into effect from 1am on Sunday.

The government has also slashed the time for travellers who have tested positive to COVID-19 to receive clearance to enter Australia from 14 days to seven days. 

It says this measure is in line with the new domestic isolation requirements and is subject to change pending further advice from health experts.

"The pre-departure testing requirements will continue to be reviewed regularly, taking into account the domestic and international epidemiology," the ministers said. 

The changes were announced on Friday,


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2 min read
Published 21 January 2022 at 7:38pm
By Rayane Tamer
Source: SBS