ACT Government Testing Sites to charge for tests required for travel | Canberra Times

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ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has been forced to revise advice on PCR testing for domestic travel for the second time after she was contradicted by comments from Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt. Stephen-Smith said people who demanded confirmation of a negative COVID-19 result via text would not have to pay for PCR tests for interstate travel at government-run clinics. “What Minister Hunt has clarified, and I have also received clarification from Canberra Health Services this morning, is his understanding that the National Partnership Agreement will fund any testing required as part of a public health order,” she told ABC. . “So that includes if another jurisdiction requires a COVID-19 test as part of their border crossing requirements, then it would cover people who only needed that SMS confirmation to travel into another state, for example Queensland . ” She clarified that people who demanded a certificate for their result had to pay a fee of $ 112. Ms Stephen-Smith said it had been “a really confusing 48 hours” after she originally indicated Tuesday that public facilities would not conduct tests where people had to pay. She later said government facilities would charge for testing in certain circumstances, including when people needed a negative result to travel, prior to her comments Wednesday morning. The ACT government offers free testing for individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms or for those who have been considered close or casual contacts. There was conflicting advice on Tuesday about whether the government would charge for tests after some people reported being charged a $ 110 fee. Stephen-Smith was asked about this fee during Question Time. “I will take this issue with notice because my understanding is that we do not actually charge fees at free public test sites,” she said. “And so I’ve heard it several times that people have been told that they can get their test result if they pay for it, but that’s not the advice I’ve been given, so I think there are some mixed messages here. ” But after Question Time, Stephen-Smith informed the Assembly that the government would charge people for some tests. She said there had been some inconsistent advice on this and that the government would seek to clarify this. The opposition cracked down on the health minister, claiming that Stephen-Smith was caught by the blunder. MORE COVID-19 NEWS: Opposition health spokeswoman Giulia Jones also questioned why the government could not offer the service cheaper. “Families who want to travel at Christmas may need to take four or five of these tests just to get on a plane,” Ms. Jones said. “This is potentially another huge financial burden for Canberra families at this time of year after a very difficult period of closure.” There has been an increase in the demand for testing in Canberra in recent weeks, which has been driven by an increase in nightclub venues. ACT reported 19 new cases of COVID-19 within 24 hours until 8pm Monday. There are six people in the hospital due to COVID, three are in intensive care and two are being ventilated. Burgmann Anglican School became the latest school to be exposed to COVID-19 after a positive case attended the Forde campus on November 19th and 22nd. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the local community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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