Traveling Australians not required to pay for COVID-19 tests: health minister

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 24, 2021
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CANBERRA, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Health Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed that interstate travelers will not have to pay for their mandatory COVID-19 tests.

Hunt said on Wednesday that federal and state and territory governments will continue to fund polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on a 50-50 basis.

It comes after the Queensland government declared that travelers would be required to pay 150 Australian dollars (about 108.11 U.S. dollars) for a mandatory PCR test within 72 hours of arrival when the state reopens its borders to the pandemic-hit Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Victoria state and New South Wales state in December.

Hunt told Nine Network television that the state government has "wavered" on the funding agreement after significant backlash. "We haven't changed anything," he said.

Australia on Wednesday reported more than 1,400 new locally-acquired COVID-19 infections.

The figure included 11 new cases in the Northern Territory (NT) - its equal-most on any day since the start of the pandemic - taking the number of infections linked to the NT's outbreak to 51.

Chief Minister of NT Michael Gunner said one of the cases is a woman who left the hard lockdown in the Indigenous community of Binjari for the remote town of Katherine where the outbreak began.

"The woman did not know that she had COVID-19," Gunner said.

"The positive case shows why the hard lockdown in Binjari is so critical and why acting illegally to evade the hard lockdown is so dangerous." Enditem

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