Quarantine requirements enforced on travellers arriving into New South Wales for the past 18 months will come to an end at the end of October, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has confirmed today.
The decision comes as NSW prepares to achieve its 80% double dose vaccination rate next Monday.
“From 1 November, those people – returning Australians, tourists – who want to come back, who want to visit Australia, who want to come into Sydney, [then] hotel quarantine will be a thing of the past,” Perrottet said.
In partnership with the Commonwealth Government, NSW will require arrivals into Sydney to have a PCR test before they board their flight, and must provide proof of being double vaccinated against COVID-19.
Perrottet’s message was clear, saying Sydney and NSW was “open for business” for double-jabbed people from around the world.
“We want people back. We’re leading the nation out of this pandemic. Our hotel quarantine/home quarantine is a thing of the past.”
“We are opening, Sydney and New South Wales to the world.”
Perrottet said the state would also work with the Commonwealth to ensure protections remain in place so that people are safe.
“We have reached this vaccination milestone quicker than anyone thought we could, and that is a testament to the hard work of people across the State turning out to get vaccinated,” Perrottet said.
“Welcoming back fully vaccinated travellers will not only mean families and friends can be home in time for Christmas, it will also give our economy a major boost.”
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NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayers added: “If you’re a person from another country, who wants to visit or work in Australia and you’re fully vaccinated, you’ll be able to come to Australia and not have to quarantine.”
Ayers said that by 1 November the vaccination rate in Sydney and NSW will be “incredibly high”, adding “we want to be able to say to the world that we treat everyone equally.”
He said that the State Government was giving airlines a two-week window to add extra flights to Sydney to take advantage of the decision, which will see no cap on international flights for the double vaccinated.
Ayers also confirmed that those not vaccinated must still hotel quarantine on arrival into Sydney, with that number capped at 210 people per week.
“This clearly prioritises fully vaccinated people returning to Australia and coming here for work and for leisure,” the Tourism Minister said.
“This is a huge pickup for our tourism industry. It’s a huge pickup for our economy, and it’s a really clear signal to Australians who have had to operate overseas in a really constrained aviation market that we’re removing those barriers and allowing you to come home,” Ayers added.
The NSW Government’s declaration to enable foreign visitors into the country from 1 November was later rebutted by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Morrison insisted that it would be Australian citizens, residents and their immediate family members who will be permitted entry. Tourists, students and skilled workers will have to wait for now.
“We are not opening up to everyone coming back to Australia at the moment. I want to be clear about that,” Morrison said.
“It is for the Commonwealth and Federal government to decide when the border opens and shuts at an international level and we will do that.”