Quarantine Scrapped for International Travellers as NSW Moves to Next Stage of the Roadmap

Quarantine Scrapped for International Travellers as NSW Moves to Next Stage of the Roadmap
Travellers walk through a deserted Qantas terminal at Melbourne Airport in Melbourne, Australia on Aug. 26, 2021 (William West/AFP via Getty Images)
Rebecca Zhu

New South Wales (NSW) Premier Dominic Perrottet announced that quarantine will be scrapped entirely for the fully vaccinated from November, as the next stage of the roadmap begins next week with vaccine passports now available.

All international travellers and returning citizens coming into NSW will no longer be required to quarantine from Nov. 1, provided they are fully vaccinated.

“For double vaccinated people right around the world, Sydney, New South Wales is open for business,” Perrottet said. “Hotel quarantine, home quarantine is a thing of the past. We are opening Sydney and New South Wales to the world.”

People will be required to conduct a PCR test before boarding and show proof of double vaccination.

Perrottet encouraged Australians currently stranded overseas but from other states to return to the country through Sydney.

“We can’t control the quarantine requirements in the other states,” he said. “If you’re a returning Australian ...  Have a great time here before you go home. Spend up big and help our small businesses.”

“The fact that we’ll be the only city and state open to the world [means] it’s going to be boom time for NSW.”

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) said this was the single most significant announcement since restrictions were first imposed.

“New South Wales is leading the nation out of the pandemic.  This courageous decision to end quarantine for the fully vaccinated is very welcome and sets the standard for other states to follow in the very near future,” ACCI CEO Andrew McKellar said.

McKellar said this decision would help save businesses and livelihoods and revive the tourism industry and higher education sector.

“With the international borders closed for more than 18 months, Australian businesses have suffered from severe labour and skills shortages, as well as the loss of export income from international education, trade, and tourism,” he said.

Perrottet also said the state would likely hit the 80 percent vaccination target tomorrow, meaning further restrictions will be lifted on Monday, Oct. 18.

“So as of Monday, we know that home visitations will increase from 10 to 20. Outdoor gatherings from 30 to 50. Standing up in pubs will now be back. There will be no limits on weddings and funerals,” he said.

However, due to lower vaccination rates in regional NSW, travel to those areas will be restricted until Nov. 1.

“I know for many it will be an unpopular decision, but as premier, I believe it is the right decision, and that is to defer regional travel from Greater Sydney until Nov. 1,” Perrottet said.

Meanwhile, Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello also announced that the vaccine passport had arrived and thanked departments for their work in pushing the feature out earlier than expected.

The check-in screen for the app now shows a moving hologram of the NSW waratah logo as a security measure, meaning screenshots will no longer work.

Entry to venues will require proof of vaccination until all restrictions are lifted for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, slated for Dec. 1.

People in NSW who are unvaccinated or have only received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination have not been allowed the same “freedoms” as the fully vaccinated, creating a two-tiered society.