Worry Qld arrivals face pricey virus test

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There is concern travellers to Queensland will be stuck with the bill for mandatory COVID-19 tests required to enter the state once the 80 per cent vaccination threshold is reached, as governments debate who should pay.

The state government has been resolute about the need for PCR tests, that can cost around $145 through private providers, rather than cheap rapid antigen test kits tests now available at chemists and supermarkets.

PCR laboratory tests are considered the 'gold standard' of COVID-19 detection, and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said their requirement for travellers from COVID-19 hotspots would remain when borders reopened.

Concerns about whether the measure will affect the state's tourism sector were brushed aside as Ms Palaszczuk pointed to the same requirement in other jurisdictions.

"This is the same requirement for people wanting to go and experience Western Australian tourism, Tasmanian tourism (and) South Australian tourism," she said.

The comments follow calls from state Health Minister Yvette D'Ath for the federal government to consider subsidising tests.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said much of the pathology testing throughout the pandemic was covered by Medicare, and it was up to Queensland to explain why it appeared to be passing the cost onto families.

"The federal government has picked up the vast bulk of the bill in this pandemic ... I'll leave it to the Queensland government to explain this impost," he told the Nine Network on Monday.

All states and territories agreed to a split funding arrangement with the commonwealth to cover "asymptomatic testing" where people can "just turn up", federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Monday.

"I've seen that Queensland has been considering not doing that. That would be very unfortunate because that would prevent families from reuniting," he told Sydney's 2GB radio station.

"We're continuing on with all of our arrangements, from their perspective I hope that at the very time they want to bring people in, they don't reduce access to testing."

Under Queensland's reopening plan once the 80 per cent double-dose milestone is reached, fully vaccinated travellers must return a negative test taken within 72 hours of arrival if coming from a hotspot.

The possibility of travellers getting a test in Queensland before travelling to NSW for up to 72 hours and returning with the same proof of result was a "loophole that we will look at", Acting Chief Health Officer Peter Aitken said.

"The intent is certainly for people to have a test in the area that they have been exposed to," he said on Monday.

Testing for people with COVID-19 symptoms has been free throughout the pandemic.

A total of 73.42 per cent of eligible Queenslanders are now fully vaccinated, and 84.60 per cent have had at least one dose.

No new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the state on Monday.

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