A leading epidemiologist says she wants to see international arrivals in Australia tested for COVID-19 before they leave the airport, in a bid to help stop the virus spreading.
International borders are open! And although pre-flight testing is required for people coming into Australia, UNSW epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws doesn’t think it’s enough.
“They often have it several days before they hop on the plane,” she told the Nine Network on Wednesday.
“Anything can happen between that three-day period of having the PCR (test).”
“Then also they may have to transit. They may, of course, inadvertently acquire it there. It’s just an additive bundle of prevention.”
On Monday 1 November, after 582 days, Australia’s international border finally reopened with the first quarantine-free arrival flights touching down in Sydney from Singapore and Los Angeles.
These were followed by a Singapore Airlines flight that touched down in Melbourne Airport, reuniting loved ones once more.
Fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents can now leave the country without needing an exemption and will not have to quarantine when they arrive home.
Australia is currently on the cusp of having 80 per cent of people aged 16 and older fully vaccinated.
The latest federal data shows 78 per cent are double-dosed, with about 88 per cent partially vaccinated.
The national capital is Australia’s most vaccinated jurisdiction, with more than 93 per cent of residents aged 12 and older double-dosed.
Pressure has been mounting on states with no infections or low numbers of cases to lift vaccination rates so internal borders can reopen further.
Meanwhile, US manufacturer Novavax has asked the Therapeutic Goods Administration to give its jab the green light.
Should it be approved, Novavax will be the fourth COVID-19 vaccine made available in Australia.
Do you think arrivals should be tested at the airport as an extra saftey measure? Let us know, email [email protected].
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