Australia to drop Covid testing to enter country, says Scott Morrison

Australia to soon SCRAP Covid test to enter country as Scott Morrison says move will be key for tourism

  • Australia plans to scrap pre-departure Covid testing for entry
  • The move would boost tourism by removing the burden on travelers
  • Scott Morrison announced $60 million in funding for the tourism sector

Australia will soon drop pre-departure Covid testing to enter the country, Scott Morrison said on Tuesday.

Currently, anyone wishing to enter must prove they tested negative within three days of their flight to Australia.

But as the nation continues its transition to life with Covid, the government wants to remove the burden to help encourage tourists to visit.

Mr Morrison did not say exactly when the tests will be scrapped, but revealed: ‘It will be an important step. It’s not too far from us now.

The UK scrapped pre-departure testing in January.

Australia will soon drop pre-departure Covid testing to enter the country, Scott Morrison said on Tuesday. Pictured: Tourists in Bali

The Prime Minister made the comments in Cairns when announcing a $60 million tourism package to bring international visitors back to areas hardest hit by international border closures.

Australia welcomed overseas travelers again for the first time in two years last month after the federal government locked down the country on March 20, 2020.

The tourism sector has been hit hard by border closures, forcing many businesses to close.

Scott Morrison said the government wanted to make sure Australia was at the top of everyone's list

Scott Morrison said the government wanted to make sure Australia was at the top of everyone’s list

“As the world reopens and travelers get out and see the world again, we want to make sure Australia is at the top of the must-see list,” the Prime Minister said.

“I have listened to tourism industry operators on what they will need to rebuild their international tourism businesses and this increase in funding will meet those needs.”

He said the package was to get people on planes and get them here.

“The return of our international tourism market will support hundreds of thousands of tourism jobs, strengthen our economy and support our world-class tourism operators and the many regions that rely on international visitors, such as tropical North Queensland.”

Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Dan Tehan said the additional funding will complement work already underway to bolster our tourism recovery.

Scott Morrison said the package was to get people on planes and get them here.

Scott Morrison said the package was to get people on planes and get them here.

Australia's international border was closed to non-Australians in March 2020

Australia’s international border was closed to non-Australians in March 2020

“Since the full reopening of our international borders, Tourism Australia has promoted Australia at Work through a $40 million international marketing campaign,” Mr Tehan said.

“This campaign is just the start of a long-term strategy to revive tourism in Australia, with further investment in international tourism marketing campaigns coming in the second half of the year. “

“Our government is working with the sector on a long-term strategy to grow the value of the visitor economy to $230 billion by 2030.”

WHERE THE MONEY GOES:

● $15 million to Tourism Tropical North Queensland to bring tourists back to North Queensland and promote the Great Barrier Reef.

● $45 million for Tourism Australia to undertake additional targeted activities to bring international tourists back to key regional destinations heavily impacted by the loss of international tourism, including:

○ $15 million for advertising in key international markets to support regions most dependent on international tourists.

○ $25 million for direct partnership activities enabling TA to work with commercial wholesalers, airlines and media to bring international demand back to key regions; and

○ $5 million to expand Business Events Australia’s highly successful bidding fund, which has already helped win 57 events for Australia.

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