Executive summary

  • We model the effects on the risk of Covid-19 border reincursions of a wide variety of different border policies, including changes in managed isolation requirements for travellers as well as different testing regimes for frontline border workers.
  • A more detailed modelling study and risk analysis of a specific policy change would be recommended before any implementation.
  • One potential change in policy that could be considered is to replace the current requirement for 14 days in MIQ with 7 days in MIQ followed by 7 days in home isolation (including a second PCR test) for arrivals from countries with low prevalence of Covid-19 such as Australia.
  • However, any increase in the number of arrivals from high-prevalence countries, for example due to an increase in MIQ capacity or repurposing of existing MIQ capacity, will lead to an increase in the risk of border reincursions.
  • Weekly PCR testing of frontline border workers helps to ensure most border reincursions are detected before they grow too large. Supplementing this with an additional weekly rapid test would be an extra safeguard that decreases the risk of a large outbreak.