Travellers to Australia’s most lockdown state will no longer need to undergo hotel quarantine once international travel resumes but will instead quarantine at home if they have been fully vaccinated.
Speaking to Channel Seven’s Sunrise hosts on Oct. 18, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said while international travel was a matter for the federal government, Victorians were keen on opening up to the world “as fast as we possibly can.”
“If you’re double dose vaccinated, then you’ll be able to quarantine at home,” Andrews said, adding that home quarantine for the fully vaccinated will be “less than 14 days.”
“We’ll get to a point where if you are vaccinated, there perhaps won’t be any quarantine at all if you’ve been tested, and as we move through the weeks and months to come.”
This follows an announcement by NSW premier Dominic Perrottet who said NSW’s quarantine program for fully vaccinated international travellers would end on Nov. 1. Fully vaccinated travellers to NSW will only need to return a negative PCR test before boarding their flight.
“[NSW] are currently running a trial, they’re currently running a home quarantine trial, so I think what’s going to happen here is we’ll have a national cabinet meeting quite soon, and we’ll be able to talk about those issues, and the PM will be able to tell us what he’s going to do on the international borders,” Andrews said.
On Oct. 15, Perrottet told reporters that NSW was “leading the nation out of the pandemic.”
“We want people back,” Perrottet said. “Hotel quarantine, home quarantine is a thing of the past.”
However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Perrottet’s announcement, while welcome, did not mean Australia would be open to tourists from November. Instead, Morrison will prioritise returning Australian citizens, residents, and their immediate families.
Morrison said that the federal government would then focus on the renewed intake of skilled migrants and students before moving on to international visitors.
Victoria is expected to reach its 80 percent double-dose vaccination target in early November in time for the Melbourne Cup.
“To be so close, to be only 10 days, a fortnight behind Sydney is a testament to the amazing job that Victorians have done, but we have to finish it off,” Andrews said.
“No more statewide lockdowns. What we’re moving away from is that instead of locking people down, we’re locking people out.”
Andrews also warned that Victorians who are not fully vaccinated would not “to be able to do so many of the things that people have craved and yearned for,” such as going to the pub.
Opposition leader Matthew Guy has criticised the Andrews government’s roadmap saying that “freedom” in Victoria looked different to those in NSW.
“As always with the Vic Govt, it’s all about the spin, not the substance,” Guy said in a post on Twitter.
Meanwhile, federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said, also in a post on Twitter, that while some progress was made for Victoria, there was “a long way to go before Victorians, who have given up so much, get the same freedoms as NSW.”
“In Sydney at 70 percent, no masks outdoors, indoor retail, cinemas, gyms & pools are open, & hospitality has a 4sqm rule.
Melbourne and parts of regional Victoria will emerge from its sixth lockdown on Oct. 22 as it reaches 70 percent double-dose vaccinations in people aged 16 and up.