Despite an increase in new Covid-19 cases, the Australian states of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, the country’s two largest entry ports, will relax quarantine requirements for overseas travellers.
According to the media reports, fully vaccinated overseas travellers and flight crew landing in Sydney and Melbourne will no longer require a 72-hour quarantine starting December 21.
According to an announcement from the two states, they will be forced to acquire a PCR test within 24 hours of arrival and isolate until they receive a negative result.
Within three days of boarding their aircraft, they must also show a negative pre-departure test.
All international visitors aged 18 and up who arrive in the two states without being fully vaccinated must still be placed in a 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine.
The announcement, according to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, simplifies the procedure and ensures that Australia’s two largest cities have a consistent approach.
“This choice was made with safety in mind, which is why all new arrivals must first return a negative PCR test before being released from isolation and then undergo a second test,” he explained.
At the same time, Covid-19 instances in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, continue to rise sharply.
Out of 137,149 tests, NSW recorded 2,482 new cases and one death on Saturday, a new daily high since the pandemic outbreak early last year.
There are 206 people in the hospital, with 26 in the intensive care unit.
Victoria has 1,504 cases and seven deaths, with 384 people in the hospital and 84 in the intensive care unit.