March 25, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

Federal health minister Greg Hunt confirmed today that the government would end the requirement for those travelling to Australia to have a negative pre-departure test before boarding international flights.

“Given the vaccination requirements remain and the masking requirements, the strong medical advice is that [pre-departure tests] will no longer be required, particularly as there are some challenges in some jurisdictions in having access to those tests,” said Hunt.

“We also took the medical advice of the Chief Medical Officer on this and that was the view that we progressively take away those items which are no longer required,” he said, confirming that he had also spoken to the CEOs of Virgin and Qantas.

The requirement for pre-departure tests will end on April 17, when the current COVID-19 biosecurity measures expire. Hunt confirmed that these would not be renewed.

Like the removal of other pandemic health measures, this latest development is both positive and negative for the business events industry.

While it will make international travel easier for business events delegates travelling to Australia, it also places a greater burden on organisers to minimise the risk of COVID-19 cases at their events.

Decisions will now need to be made by corporates and associations as to whether they insist on pre-travel or pre-event tests for participants when the Government does not require it.