Throughout the pandemic people have been able to access free COVID tests under Commonwealth and state programs.
The Queensland Premier today confirmed that the Queensland Government will now accept an official text message as evidence of a negative PCR test as they have for the last 18 months.
Asked if people would be able to print out evidence of their negative PCR test results to show at the border, Ms Palaszczuk replied: “Yeah, we’re looking at that, to have the text message, yeah, that’d be fine.” (23.11.21)
This confirmation will be welcome by families, friends, border residents and many many tourism businesses.
This comment brings the Queensland Government’s policy into line with that of the sensible response of the Queensland Police to continue to the practice of the last 18 months and accept negative tests from other States if confirmed by text.
Here are the facts on PCR testing:
The Commonwealth, through Medicare, funds tests for:
- people who are sick, have COVID symptoms or are suspected of having COVID. These tests are ordered by a doctor and the patient will have a pathology request form for this service from the doctor based on clinical need in line with Commonwealth legislation. This has been unchanged for 18 months and remains unchanged.
The Commonwealth and states jointly fund (50/50) tests for:
- people who are sick or have COVID symptoms that attend a mass testing clinic without seeing their doctor
- people who require a test as a result of a state or territory public health order. This includes travel domestically as a result of a states border restrictions, close contacts without symptoms (i.e. where a positive case may have attended a shopping centre), workplace testing requirements in high-risk settings.
A pathology test will only be charged for a patient when they are required to obtain an official certificate, rather than using the existing text message system that is in operation in every state and territory.
Testing has been proceeding without incident for the last 18 months. This includes testing required to support entry into another state or territory.
The funding arrangement of 100% Commonwealth funding for Medicare tests and 50/50 funding for State tests is unchanged.
The Commonwealth has spent over $1.87 billion on pathology testing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Until now both of these tests have been accepted by all States and territories.
It makes a farce of the threat to reject such tests after 18 months of cooperation made by the Premier.