Brisbane Airport is closing its final COVID-19 testing clinic after the end of the WHO’s global health emergency declaration and the relaxation of international testing requirements.
The 4Cyte clinic in the international terminal is set to close at 6pm today, following the closure of the Histopath clinic last Friday. The two clinics had tested 147,244 passengers between them over the past 18 months.
The demand for testing has steadily declined since last month, when China – whose passengers accounted for 90 per cent of tests performed – ended its testing requirements. Passengers who require testing to enter their destination countries will now have to arrange for their tests to be performed before arriving at the airport.
Stephen Beckett, head of Public Affairs at Brisbane Airport Corporation, said that the clinic closures are a “line in the sand” that closes the book on COVID at BNE.
“The opening of airport testing sites was crucial to the re-start of interstate and overseas travel and we’re grateful for the role testing played in keeping us safe and getting us moving. But now we celebrate the fact that global travel is back and with it the jobs and opportunities travel delivers to Queensland,” he said.
The testing clinics saw their busiest period around the April 2022 Easter holidays, with PCR and RATs both being performed at the airport. Greg Granger, Director of Strategic Operations from Histopath Diagnostic Services, said the clinics had performed a vital role over the past year and a half.
“When Australia re-opened its borders in November 2021, strong pre-departure testing mandates were enforced by airlines and destination countries. The same mandates were also enforced for interstate borders, resulting in private pathology services serving as the final gatekeepers to domestic and international travel,” he said.
“We would like to thank the passengers and airlines that have used our service these past few years, and to Brisbane Airport Corporation for ensuring that the barriers to travel were addressed for the community.”
The clinics will be replaced by airline offices following their closure. According to Histopath’s website, Sydney is now the only major airport on the eastern seaboard to have a testing clinic.