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The National Road Transport Association warns inconsistent COVID testing requirements across states and territories pose a challenge to stocking supermarket shelves.
Warren Clark, NatRoad CEO, says moving interstate freight throughout Australia during the pandemic is vital for all communities to stay supplied with food and goods.
“We agree with the national requirement for seven-day tests of drivers, which all states and territories opted for at the start of the pandemic. But a three-day testing requirement, as exists in Victoria and as coming into effect in Queensland from Friday, is a bridge too far,” he says.
“Doing that when there are too few 24-hour testing locations creates issues with fatigue management and potentially forces trucks off the road. Having a pipette pushed to the back of the nasal cavity every few days wears the skin and creates nosebleeds – which is a health issue in itself.”
The transport association says making less intrusive, rapid antigen testing available to drivers would be a viable way forward.
“Right now, it’s time for all state governments step up and provide more ‘truck friendly’ COVID-19 testing sites on key transport routes in metropolitan, urban and regional locations,” Warren says. “Media reportage of long queues of motorists lining up at testing facilities is real and accommodating an increased frequency of testing heavy vehicle operators who work odd hours creates another level of difficulty.”
NatRoad does fully support the Federal Government’s appeal to states to apply consistent border protocols.
For more information on NatRoad, click here.