All quarantine will be lifted for international arrivals whose entry has been fully vaccinated. New South Wales From 1 November, Premier Dominic Perrottet announced.
The surprise announcement leaves NSW on its own as Australia prepares to welcome radical change in COVID-19 management and overseas visitors.
Here’s what we know about how the new policy will work.
How will the new NSW process work?
To qualify for quarantine, those coming from overseas must have full vaccinations with a TGA-approved vaccineIncluding AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
Passengers will also need to perform a PCR COVID-19 test prior to boarding, and proof of vaccination.
Once approved, these arrivals will be free to continue their lives in NSW without having to spend any time in quarantine.
The Prime Minister said further advice on testing requirements for passengers on arrival will be provided in the coming days.
The aim of the resolution is to allow Australians stranded abroad to return home and restart international travel and tourism by the end of the year.
“Sydney, NSW is open to trade for people with double vaccinations worldwide,” Perrottet said.
“Hotel quarantine, home quarantine is a thing of the past.”
He said NSW will work with the Commonwealth to ensure adequate protection is provided.
“We need to rejoin the world,” Perrottet said.
“We can’t live here in a hermit kingdom.
“We need to open up and today this decision is a big one, but the right one to connect NSW globally.”
Stuart Ayres, Minister for Employment, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, said the state’s home quarantine trial was a factor in its decision to end the lockdown.
“The trial was absolutely critical,” he said.
“What the trial tells us is that the technology is trying to identify people in their homes by monitoring restrictions and quarantine requirements.
“He also made it clear to us in the first two weeks that the resources the government needs to monitor this system, of course, don’t make sense when you’re operating in a community that’s more than 90 percent vaccinated.”
What about unvaccinated travelers?
Mr Ayres said people who haven’t been fully vaccinated will have to quarantine for two weeks when they come from overseas.
This level of quarantine will be limited to 210 people per week.
What does it mean for Australians abroad?
The decision removes the need for travelers to quarantine at a hotel, whose stringent flight restrictions have left tens of thousands of Australians stranded overseas.
There are 45,000 people who want to return to DFAT, and the mandatory hotel quarantine starts at $3,000.
With the new rules, there will be no need for even the seven-day home quarantine marked by Prime Minister Scott Morrison a few weeks ago.
“Returning Australians will naturally be the first taxi in the rank. That’s clear and that’s important,” Perrottet said.
“Whether it’s bringing in Australians from other states, if we can play a part in that, I’m very passionate about doing it.”
The decision to lift the hotel quarantine would save about $3,000 for a single traveler and about $5,000 for a family.