Major change announced for testing requirements for international arrivals in Australia

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Travellers arriving in Australia from overseas will no longer need to show proof of a negative PCR to enter the country, the government has announced.

Currently, people coming to Australia need to have a PCR test within three days of their departing flight.

But from Sunday, that rule will be scrapped.

Instead, travellers will need proof of a negative rapid antigen test within 24 hours of departure.

Health Minister Greg Hunt made the announcement on Friday afternoon in a joint statement with Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews.

“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 ministers said.

The government announced the change on Friday afternoon. Credit: Grant Faint/Getty Images

“This is consistent with moves within Australia to accept RATs for diagnostic purposes.”

In addition, the time between receiving a positive COVID test result and being cleared for travel to Australia will be reduced from 14 days to seven days.

“This will reduce wait times for travellers who contract COVID-19 overseas to return to Australia in line with the new domestic isolation requirements,” the ministers said.

Currently, only Australian citizens and permanent residents, their families and those with certain visas or an exemption are allowed to travel to Australia.

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