The VTA has joined with many of our affiliate representative groups to petition the Commonwealth Government for a unified, national approach on 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 sector however, the less than a week cycles are difficult to meet due to issues with fatigue management, testing locations and physical intrusion upon the individual.

It is proposed that Interstate heavy vehicle drivers be tested every 2 or 3 days using the self-administered Ellume-type rapid testing process, alternating with a standard COVID test through a registered testing laboratory weekly.

Accessible, reliable, and fast diagnostics are integral to the COVID response. The Ellume rapid testing regime provides a result within 5-15 minutes to reduce an individual’s personal intrusion, manage outbreaks and community transmission, and reduce pressure on healthcare systems.

Our request is that the Therapeutic Goods Administration grant an exemption for Ellume testing as has been done with HIV (2014) and Flu (2019) to include specifically the interstate heavy vehicle driver sector under specific conditions.

Freight drivers have maintained their social licence to continue working despite invasive testing requirements that have been a source of angst and distress for many. They deserve a better testing regime that respects their physical and mental health and well-being, whilst keeping the community safe from transport-related outbreaks.

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