Interstate Christmas holidays can cost families thousands of dollars on COVID tests

International travelers entering Australia can cost up to $ 450 per person for a COVID-19 test and up to $ 1,800 for a family of four.

The tourism industry is urging the government to allow foreign travelers to use cheaper rapid antigen testing so that higher testing fees do not impede tourism recovery.

Medicare refunds are not available for COVID-19 testing performed for domestic or international travel required for a state or territory to cross the border.

International travelers flying fully vaccinated Australia will undergo at least one PCR test prior to boarding and at least two tests upon arrival in New South Wales (NSW) or Victoria.

The cost of a single PCR test at a private pathology laboratory is about $ 150. The total cost of the three tests is $ 450 for one person and up to $ 1800 for a family of four.

Further testing is needed if traveling to a state with zero cases, such as Queensland.

“It’s not just inside and outside Australia. In Queensland, you need to take part in these tests,” said Margy Osmond, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Tourism Board (TTF). Australian Financial Review..

Epoch Times Photo
A rapid antigen test used for coronavirus disease (Covid-19), which gave a negative result at a testing center at a subway station in Moscow on November 11, 2021. (NataliaKolesnikova / AFP via Getty Images)

“If you’re flying Jetstar to Queensland, the cost of a PCR test can be higher than a ticket for a family of four.”

A similar situation applies to Australia’s interstate highways.

The cost of a COVID-19 test varies between $ 50 (some GP clinics) and $ 150, but in some jurisdictions, asymptomatic COVID-19 testing is only available to private providers for travel reasons. Must be done and incur additional charges.according to ABC report..

It is not yet clear which type of test will be accepted and whether the recently approved rapid antigen test will be considered valid by future states and territories.

Margy Osmond said the PCR test should only be used as a tentative tool to assist in the recovery of overseas travel.

“It will be a global competition for tourists,” she said. “Because rapid diagnostics are becoming more efficient and reliable, governments need to be agile enough to adapt to technology for price-sensitive markets.”

Epoch Times Sydney Staff