It's no secret that, out of all the travel restrictions and requirements, pre-departure tests have been one of the most headache-inducing.
Fortunately, if you're travelling to Australia, you can ditch the supervised RAT tests and expensive PCR tests next week.
From April 18, travellers flying to Australia will not need to present a pre-departure test before boarding their flight, according to Health Minister Greg Hunt.
Currently, fully vaccinated travellers entering the country must take a PCR test within three days before departure or a RAT within 24 hours.
From next Monday, they only need proof of vaccination, a Digital Passenger Declaration and a mask to wear during the flight.
Travel will remain difficult for unvaccinated travellers, who must secure special (and hard to obtain) permission and quarantine on arrival.
The news will be a relief to many travellers planning to cross the ditch to see friends, family or travel these school holidays.
During a press conference announcing the changes, Hunt said that high vaccination rates and mask mandate would continue to provide adequate protection.
"Given that the vaccination requirements remain and the masking requirements, the strong medical advice is that [pre-departure tests] would no longer be required, particularly as there are some challenges in some jurisdictions in having access to those tests or improving those tests," Hunt said.
After speaking with the chief medical officer, Hunt said they were advised to 'progressively take away' restrictions that were no longer necessary.
Next week also marks another milestone in the recovery of the travel industry, with restrictions on cruise vessels into and within Australia set to be lifted from April 17. These restrictions have been in place since March 15, 2020.
This change will take place around two months after most of Australia began accepting international tourists on February 21, 2022.
With international tourism to Australia down 97 per cent from the year-end to January compared to the same period in 2019, this is a welcome next step to encouraging back tourists.