The national cabinet has today announced that the seven-day rolling Covid testing requirement for truckies is to be scrapped.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison relayed the news this evening, along with a raft of other changes, in a bid to take the pressure off the strained testing regime.
We’ll have more news on the various states and territories compliance to the order, and details on timings, as they come to hand.
Meanwhile, the Transport Workers’ Union is disappointed that the Morrison government has still refused to guarantee free rapid antigen tests (RATs) for transport workers.
In a statement released earlier today, the union said empty supermarket shelves underscore the government’s failure to provide RATs for transport workers, as up to 50 per cent of truckies were absent due to the pandemic.
“The TWU wrote to the Prime Minister in October urging the government to provide rapid tests to road transport workers to avoid unnecessary delays and keep drivers on the road,” said Michael Kaine, the union’s national secretary.
“Instead, we have a completely predictable scenario where drivers are delivering rapid tests to be sold on the shelves of supermarkets and pharmacies – but they, like most Australians, can’t access them themselves.
“We need to prioritise critical industries like transport. These tests are an important weapon in the fight against the virus, and without them, the virus is hitching a ride through transport supply chains, putting workers and the industry in danger.”
#BREAKING: There has been a major overhaul of testing rules in a meeting of the National Cabinet.
Among the changes, a positive rapid test no longer needs to be confirmed by a PCR.
— 9News Australia (@9NewsAUS) January 5, 2022
The Australian Unions has launched a petition to help argue its case to make RATs free for all.
National cabinet has agreed to provide up to 10 free rapid antigen tests for concession card holders over the next three months.
More to come.