Queensland tourism industry welcomes confirmation that COVID-19 testing will be funded
Tourism operators rejoice after Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed that PCR testing required for anyone traveling to and from Queensland would be funded as part of a 50-50 deal between governments federal and state.
A negative PCR result will be required within 72 hours of travel, but the price of $ 150 will not be charged to vacationers.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind said it was a massive relief for the industry.
“I think families will be much happier spending the same amount on a tourism experience and bringing some joy to themselves and the industry instead of spending it on a PCR test,” a- he declared.
Avoid another massive blow
Tour operators reported an increase in bookings when Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk announced Queensland’s roadmap.
The wave of enthusiasm was eclipsed by the realization that a family of four would have to pay $ 600 for COVID-19 testing just to enter the state.
Mr Gschwind said the cost of testing would have been another blow to an already struggling industry.
âThe state government and the private sector have spent millions of dollars trying to attract people now that the borders are open again through marketing, and that certainly would have been a kick in the foot,â he said. he declared.
He said it was a relief for operators who had responded to calls from worried travelers.
“We are extremely relieved that these reservations are hopefully holding up and that people will arrive in good spirits without their wallets being looted before they get here.”
The arrangement hasn’t changed, says Hunt
There was confusion for several days over whether test results in the form of a text message would hold up at the Queensland border and why the Commonwealth would not fund PCR testing under Medicare.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the 50-50 arrangement has been in place for some time.
âTesting has gone smoothly over the past 18 months,â he said.
“This includes the tests required to support entry into another state or territory.”
Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk praised the clarification in a tweet.
“I am delighted that people can expect to be reunited in time for Christmas at no additional cost, as my government had always expected,” she said.
Although it has been a long road to get there, Mr Gschwind said: “It is a very joyous time and a Christmas present for consumers.”
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