People coming into Queensland once the borders reopen now won’t have to foot the bill of their required PCR tests.
Once Queensland hits 80 per cent double dose vaccination, which is still expected to happen on or before December 17, the borders will reopen to those who are fully vaccinated and have tested negative.
The requirement for tests is that a negative result must be given within 72 hours before a traveller crosses into Queensland.
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Many people considering travelling in time for Christmas were then taken aback to find out that the tests cost $150 per person, which is understood to include an official certificate.
The Queensland Premier has now made it clear that anyone travelling into the state would be able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test by showing authorities a text message, rather than having to pay for the special test certificate.
However, it seems the recent decision wasn’t very easily reached, with the state and federal governments now in a bit of a quarrel over the matter.
Annastacia Palaszczuk says it was the federal government that decided to fund the tests, but the federal government argues that it has always done so.
“Minister Hunt says the charge for a PCR test was only when a certificate is required,” the Premier said.
“Queensland made it plain weeks ago that the text message most people receive after a test is acceptable.”
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt put out a series of tweets last night, reiterating that this is not a new decision from Canberra, but rather a change of heart by Queensland.
“The claim is false,” his tweet response to Ms Palaszczuk reads.
“The Commonwealth has always funded 50 per cent of the cost of the PCR tests, as outlined in the Agreement the Premier signed on 13 March 2020.
“The only thing that has changed is that after accepting text confirmation for 18 months and then rejecting it for 24 hours, Queensland is now accepting the same text messages again, dropping their demand for a certificate.
“It’s time the Premier apologised for the unnecessary stress she has caused to Queenslanders and those planning to travel there,” Minister Hunt tweeted.
The claim is false.
The Commonwealth has always funded 50 per cent of the cost of the PCR tests, as outlined in the Agreement the Premier signed on 13 March 2020. https://t.co/RRoFiu0rgQ
— Greg Hunt (@GregHuntMP) November 23, 2021