International Arrivals Australia 2021 | Quarantine to End for International Arrivals to New South Wales
New South Wales (NSW) Premier, Dominic Perrottet has today announced a plan to open the State to fully vaccinated international arrivals. He revealed that in two weeks:
- NSW will allow international arrivals with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to fly to the State from 1 November 2021.
- Caps on arrivals to NSW will be lifted for fully vaccinated international travellers. These arrivals will not need to quarantine – either at a hotel or at home.
- At this stage, the plan will only
allow Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents and their
immediate families to return to Australia.
- Mr Perrottet said he wants to help residents from other States to return home too, but details are yet to be provided.
Mr Perrottet also indicated that international travel to NSW would begin to re-open after the return of Australians, but shortly after the announcement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison clarified that re-opening the international border would be a national decision made in accordance with vaccination rates.
- Mr Morrison stated that re-opening international travel would start with skilled migrants and international students, although no dates have been provided.
- He also announced that fully vaccinated parents of Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents will be exempt from travel restrictions and will be able to come to Australia from 1 November 2021. Further details regarding this are not yet available. Visas will be still be required.
Currently, most Temporary Visa Holders still need a Travel Exemption to come to Australia – for example, for Critical Work or Compassionate/Compelling reasons.
Although the international border is yet to open more broadly, NSW's decision to remove the need to quarantine for 14 days is an encouraging step towards leading Australia out of international travel restrictions.
Importantly, extra flights will also be available. Flight delays and cancellations have previously prevented many people from being able to travel. Here's the details.
What Will Be the Process for International Arrivals to NSW? | International Arrivals Australia 2021
Mr Perrottet said the NSW Government would ask the Commonwealth to manage pre-arrival procedures. This would include:
- Verifying a person's COVID-19 vaccination status before they depart to Australia – read about approved COVID-19 vaccines in Australia here.
- Ensuring all arrivals are tested and cleared before boarding to Sydney. A negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result 72 hours before travelling to Australia is already required – read more here.
Mr Perrottet said airlines and the Commonwealth will work together in the next few weeks to make extra flights available and finalise processes for fully vaccinated travellers. Qantas has already brought forward international flights for travel to and from NSW from 1 November 2021. Australians seeking to fly overseas from NSW can also leave under the plan.
If you are a fully vaccinated traveller in NSW that is already in quarantine, you will be able to complete your quarantine requirements on 1 November 2021, even if it is for less than 14 days.
What About Unvaccinated International Arrivals to NSW? | International Arrivals Australia 2021
Quarantine places will be available for unvaccinated travellers to NSW, however these would be capped to 210 people per week.
Given this, it will take much longer for unvaccinated travellers to secure a flight than unvaccinated travellers and upon arrival, they will still need to undertake 14 days of hotel quarantine.
What About International Travel to Other Australian States? | International Arrivals Australia 2021
NSW's decision to remove quarantine has been welcomed by airlines and stranded Australians.
Removing the need for quarantine altogether, rather than reducing the quarantine period or allowing for home quarantine may be somewhat unexpected, as trials for home quarantine are still underway.
The National Plan to Re-open International Travel stated that 'proportionate quarantine' would be undertaken in relation to the State's vaccination rates. NSW is quickly heading towards its 80% double dose vaccination target.
Other States and Territories may interpret 'proportionate quarantine' in different ways as they progress towards re-opening international travel. Some are moving forward more cautiously than others.
Planning Now for the Re-opening of International Travel
Today's announcements will help more Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents to reunite with their families before Christmas – including parents.
Given the rapid pace of re-opening international travel as more States reach closer to their vaccination targets, it is a good time for businesses and individuals to plan for their visa eligibility and travel requirements.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.