New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet on Friday said that quarantine and arrivals caps would be scrapped for fully vaccinated overseas travellers from November 1 in an unexpected announcement.
In a press conference, Perrottet said that hotel quarantine would be scrapped – and not replaced by home isolation as previously said – for all travellers, who will be required to show a negative Covid-19 test result and proof of full vaccination with approved jabs.
Travellers not fully vaccinated will still be required to undergo 14 days of hotel quarantine with a cap of 210 people per week.
“For double vaccinated people around the world, Sydney, NSW, is open for business,” he said. “Hotel quarantine … will be a thing of the past.”
Hours after the announcement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stressed that the changes would only affect Australian citizens, residents and their immediate families.
“We’re not opening up to everyone coming back to Australia at the moment, I want to be very clear about that. We are going to take this forward in a staged and careful way,” Morrison said.
“It’s on … the federal government to decide when the border opens and shuts at an international level,” he added, with skilled migrants and international students next in line following citizens and residents.
“Obviously the capped arrangements in other states will continue because of the vaccination levels in those places,” Morrison added.
New South Wales was set to hit the 80-per-cent double-jab mark this week. Across Australia, over 66 per cent of people over 16 are fully vaccinated.
Australia’s international borders have been closed to all but residents and citizens, with a few exceptions, since March 2020, with caps on international arrivals introduced in July 2020.