Two Australian states relax quarantine rules for fully vaccinated international travelers

Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving in Sydney and Melbourne need not have to undergo quarantine for 72 hours starting from December 21, says an announcement by the Australian government.

the premiers of New South Wales and Victoria said international travelers who are fully vaccinated will instead be required to show proof of a negative result from a Covid-19 PCR test within three days of boarding their flight and another test 24 hours after arrival.

Travelers will be isolated until they receive a negative result on the test taken after arrival.

Travelers in New South Wales are also required to get a follow-up test six days after their arrival. In Victoria, an additional test is needed between the fifth and the seventh day after arrival, according to a report in CNN.

Passengers arriving from overseas into New South Wales and Victoria 18 years and older who are not considered fully vaccinated must still go directly into a 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine, the statement said.

The ease of restrictions comes after New South Wales reported a daily record of 2,313 Covid-19 cases.

New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet said the changes are aimed at clarifying the process for international travelers.

“We know it has been a challenging time for international travel with new rules and the emergence of the Omicron variant, but this announcement is about simplifying the process and making sure Australia’s two biggest cities have a consistent approach,” Perrottet said.

Acting Victorian Premier James Merlino said with more than 92% of Victoria’s population double-vaccinated, the new policy will protect the community while helping them learn to live with Covid-19.

“Victorians have given themselves the strongest chance of living safely with coronavirus and enjoying more freedoms this festive season, while we continue to monitor the Omicron variant,” Merlino said.