IATA welcomes Australia’s decision to remove pre-departure testing for passengers traveling to the country from 17 April 2022. By doing so, Australia sends a strong signal that COVID-19 is moving into the endemic phase and barriers to travel are being knocked down. It will enable a swifter aviation recovery, particularly for the leisure segment, as lesser restrictions will encourage people to take to the skies again and boost demand further.
In December 2021, international passenger demand in the Asia Pacific region was only 13% of 2019 levels, way behind other regions in the world. Air travel will become freer and more normalized when travel restrictions and health protocols that are no longer necessary or relevant are sunset as the pandemic is accepted as endemic. Australia will be the first among the major air travel markets in the Asia Pacific region to remove the requirement for pre-departure testing. We urge other Asia Pacific states to do so too. This will boost the aviation sector’s journey towards a full recovery.