Freight Industry Calls For Unified Covid Testing Regime For Interstate Drivers Across Australia

The VTA has joined with other representative groups across Australia, to petition the Commonwealth Government for a unified, national approach to COVID testing requirements for linehaul interstate heavy vehicle drivers.

Current testing regimes vary from two-day, three-day and weekly testing cycles. The weekly cycles of testing can be met within the industry but the shorter cycles are proving difficult to meet due to issues including fatigue management, testing locations and personal intrusion.

Groups are calling for uniformity across testing regimes and propose that drivers self-test every 2 or 3 days using the Ellume-type rapid testing process, alternating with a standard COVID test through a registered testing laboratory on a weekly basis.

In addition, they are requesting that the Therapeutic Goods Administration grant an exemption for Ellume testing as has been done with HIV (2014) and Flu (2019) to specifically include the interstate heavy vehicle driver sector under specific conditions.

The VTA believes that accessible, reliable, and fast diagnostics are integral to the COVID response and that the Ellume rapid testing regime can reduce levels of personal intrusion, manage outbreaks and community transmission, and reduce pressure on healthcare systems.