Australians will finally be allowed overseas from November 1

Australians and their immediate family will be allowed to leave and re-enter NSW without quarantine from November 1, Scott Morrison has announced. 

Aussies in any state can depart from that date but only NSW is letting them come back without caps or quarantine. 

In a press conference on Friday morning Premier Dominic Perrottet announced that arrival caps as well any type of quarantine for vaccinated Australians and foreigners flying into Sydney would be scrapped in two weeks.  

The move blindsided Mr Morrison – who hasn’t fronted the cameras in eight days – and forced him to emerge from Kirribilli House to clarify that Australia’s borders will not open to tourists. 

NSW’s major announcement it would open up to the whole world from November 1 has sparked mass confusion. Scott Morrison is pictured outside Kirribilli House

‘All we are talking about now is Australian citizens, residents and their immediate families, which will be looking to extend to the parents of those Australian citizens and residents,’ he said.

‘We are not opening up to everyone coming back to Australia at the moment. I want to be clear about that. 

‘We will take this forward in a staged way as we have done in all these things.

‘It is for the Commonwealth and Federal Government to decide when to the border opens it shut at an international level and we will do that. 

‘In the first instance it will be for Australian residents and their families. We will see how that goes and then we will be to other priorities set out as being skilled migration as well as students to Australia and then we will move onto challenge of dealing with international visitors to Australia.’ 

Australia’s international border has been closed since March 2020 to reduce the spread of coronavirus – and no date has been set for a re-opening.

The national re-opening plan agreed by all states and territories in August states that once 80 per cent of over 16s are vaccinated then there will be a ‘gradual opening of inward and outward travel with safe countries’. 

But NSW said it would welcome people from any country around the world as long as they are vaccinated from November 1.

NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said the state would not discriminate based on nationality.

But he flagged the Federal Government will let people from some countries in before others because it will be quicker to set up systems to test the vaccination status of arrivals from certain countries.

‘There is no doubt that the Commonwealth will be able to do that with some countries faster than others,’ he said.

‘They will also be able to do that in conjunction with many airlines faster than others so there will be some incremental staging that has brought about by the ability for the Commonwealth to verify vaccination status but we are not delineating between countries.

NSW will not enforce any quarantine at all on vaccinated arrivals from November 1. Pictured: Sydney Airport in December

NSW will not enforce any quarantine at all on vaccinated arrivals from November 1. Pictured: Sydney Airport in December 

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet speaks to the media during a press conference in Sydney, Friday October 15

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet speaks to the media during a press conference in Sydney, Friday October 15

‘There is no delineation between Australian citizens and other citizens of countries around the world. 

‘The focal point here is a delineation between vaccination status so vaccinated and unvaccinated. 

‘We will require the Commonwealth to ensure that a person is fully vaccinated,’ he said.

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said was not aware of NSW’s announcement which he described as ‘hot off the printers’. 

The announcement left residents confused over the border rules. 

‘Australian borders at this stage are closed to international travel with only a few exemptions and has been since March 2020. Only the Fed Gov can open them not a state,’ one NSW resident wrote on Twitter.

But others said Mr Perrottet was not opening the border but only changing health rules.

‘I read it as ending enforcing quarantine requirements for the vaccinated, not opening the borders,’ one wrote.

Mr Perrottet said he had spoken to the Prime Minister about the changes.

‘I’ve had numerous discussions with the prime minister over the course of this period about dispensing with hotel quarantine – they support this policy,’ he told reporters in Sydney.

‘They will need to implement it from a border perspective and we want tourists back into the state as quickly as possible.’

NSW said it would welcome people from any country around the world as long as they are vaccinated from November 1. Pictured: Sydney passengers before lockdown

NSW said it would welcome people from any country around the world as long as they are vaccinated from November 1. Pictured: Sydney passengers before lockdown

The Premier said he could not control other states’ quarantine requirements but urged overseas travellers to spend time in Sydney if they needed to.

‘If you’re a returning Australian and you want to come here, stay in New South Wales and stay in Sydney,’ he said.

‘Have a great time here before you go home and spend up big.’

Overseas travel in and out of Sydney is likely to be allowed before some interstate and regional trips across Australia.

The Morrison government has urged states to drop hard borders when 80 per cent vaccination rates are reached.

But some jurisdictions are not expected to reach that target until December at the earliest.

The WA government has signalled it won’t open to states with coronavirus until next year.

NSW recorded 399 new local coronavirus infections on Friday, while case numbers in Victoria continue to soar with 2179 registered.

There were six deaths in Victoria and four in NSW.

Australia has fully vaccinated 65.4 per cent of its eligible population aged 16 and over, while more than 83.6 per cent have received their first dose. 

What are the four phases of opening up? 

A. Vaccinate, prepare and pilot (from July 14)

Arrival caps cut in half to 3,035 a week; early, stringent and short lockdowns if outbreaks occur; trials of seven-day home quarantine for vaccinated arrivals in South Australia; medicare vaccination certificates available on apps like apple wallet   

B. Post vaccination phase (when 70 per cent are jabbed, expected late this year)

Lockdowns less likely but possible’; vaccinated people face reduced restrictions; caps for unvaccinated arrivals increased; a larger cap for vaccinated arrivals with ‘reduced quarantine requirements’; capped entry for students and economic visa holders  

C. Consolidation phase (when 80 per cent are jabbed, time not announced)

Lifting all restrictions for outbound travel for vaccinated travellers; no caps for vaccinated arrivals; increased caps for students and visa holders; more travel bubbles being set up with countries such as Singapore; booster shots rolled out 

D. Final phase (percentage or time not announced)

Uncapped arrivals for vaccinated people without any quarantine and uncapped arrivals for unvaccinated people with testing before departure and on arrival 

 

NSW opens to the WORLD in just two weeks as hotel quarantine is scrapped, limits are lifted on weddings and funerals from MONDAY, community sport returns and pubs & restaurants return to normal 

By Michael Pickering 

Hotel quarantine will be scrapped in NSW and new freedoms will be restored next week as the state prepares to open up to the world on November 1.

NSW is the first state in the country to announce it will open to travellers from overseas and scrap quarantine rules for the fully-vaccinated. 

‘Sydney (and) NSW is open for business,’ Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Friday.

‘We want people back… Hotel quarantine is a thing of the past. We are opening Sydney and NSW to the world – and that date will come on November 1.

‘We will work closely with the Commonwealth to ensure protections are in place so we keep people safe but re-join the world. This is a significant day for our state.’  

Mr Perrottet declared Sydney is Australia’s ‘truly only global city’ as NSW re-opens to the world while Victoria and Queensland remain shut.

He pointed to the Harbour Bridge as he delivered the stunning dig on Friday while announcing changes to Covid-19 restrictions and hotel quarantine.

‘The alternative is to stay closed from the world, we’re not doing that. Sydney is Australia’s truly only global city. When people think of Australia, they think of this,’ he said as he pointed to the landmark.

NSW rules on October 18, November 1 and December 1

RULES FROM OCTOBER 18 

Masks and QR codes:

Masks required for all staff and customers in all indoor settings including on public transport, planes and in airports (except children under the age of 12).

Masks no longer required in office buildings (unvaccinated people must still wear a mask in the office).

Masks no longer required in outdoor settings (except for front-of-house hospitality staff).

COVID Safe check-ins and proof of vaccination required for staff and customers.

Visiting family and friends:

Up to 20 visitors allowed in your home at any one time (visitor limits do not apply for children under the age of 12).

Small outdoor gatherings and recreation permitted for up to 50 people (2-person limit for people not fully vaccinated).

Visitors to residents in aged care facilities and disability homes permitted in line with their policies.

Exercise and recreation:

Gyms, indoor recreation and sporting facilities open with density limits and up to 20 people in classes.

No distance limits apply for exercise or recreation.

Indoor swimming pools open for swimming lessons, training and rehab activities.

Community sports permitted for fully vaccinated staff, spectators and participants.

Shopping and personal services: 

Non-critical retail open with density limits (people who are not fully vaccinated can only access non-critical retail via Click & Collect).

No customer limit for personal services (including hairdressers, spas, beauty and nail salons, tattoo and massage parlours), density limits apply.

Sex services premises reopen.

Restaurants and hospitality: 

Drinking while standing allowed with density limit of one person per four square metres indoors and one person per two square metres outdoors.

No singing indoors (except for performers).

Dancing is permitted indoors and outdoors (except at nightclubs). 

Working from home:

Employers allow staff to continue to work from home, if reasonably practicable.

Employers require staff who are not fully vaccinated to work from home, if reasonably practicable.

Events and entertainment:

Major recreation facilities (including stadiums, theme parks, and race courses) open with density limits for up to 5000 people, or by exemption.

Entertainment facilities (including cinemas and theatres) reopen with density limit or 75% fixed seated capacity.

Information and education facilities (including art galleries, museums and libraries) reopen with density limits.

COVID safe outdoor gatherings permitted for up to 200 people.

Controlled outdoor public gatherings (for example – fenced, seated ticketed) permitted for up to 3000 people with density limit.

Nightclubs and strip clubs reopen with seated drinking and no dancing.

Weddings and religious services:

Wedding ceremonies permitted with no person limit (5-person limit for people who are not fully vaccinated), density limit still applies.

Wedding receptions permitted with no person limits (not permitted for people who are not fully vaccinated), eating and drinking while standing, and dancing is permitted, density limit still apply.

Funerals permitted with no person limit (10-person limit for people who are not fully vaccinated) and eating and drinking allowed while standing, density limits still apply.

Places of worship reopen for people who are not fully vaccinated with density limits.

Up to 10 fully vaccinated singers may perform in places of worship and at religious services. 

RULES FROM NOVEMBER 1

From November 1 rules will relax further to allow travel between Greater Sydney and regional NSW.

NSW will also welcome international tourists and workers from all countries with no quarantine at all if they are fully vaccinated. 

Cap of 210 unvaccinated arrivals per week with 14-day hotel quarantine still enforced for them.

The 20 person cap on bookings at bars will also be removed on this day. 

RULES FROM DECEMBER 1

On Wednesday 1 December 2021, the following settings will apply to all NSW citizens, regardless of their vaccination status:

Gatherings in the home and outdoor public spaces

No limit on the number of visitors to a home

Density will shift to one person per 2 sqm for indoor and outdoor settings

No limit on the number of people who can attend informal outdoor gatherings

COVID Safe plan required for outdoor events with more than 1,000 people

Community sport permitted for all people

Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms

Retail stores can operate at one person per 2 sqm

Personal services such as hairdressers, spa, nail, beauty, waxing, tattoo and massage can operate with one person per 2 sqm

Hospitality venues can operate with one person per 2 sqm inside and outside, with no seating required for eating and drinking

Gyms and indoor recreation facilities, including indoor pools, can operate with one person per 2 sqm (uncapped)

Intimate services can open with one person per 4 sqm

Major outdoor recreation facilities

Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can operate with one person per 2 sqm

Entertainment, information and education facilities

Entertainment facilities (including cinemas, theatres, music halls) can operate with one person per 2 sqm

Information and education facilities (including libraries, museums and galleries) can operate with one person per 2 sqm

Amusement centres and nightclubs can open with one person per 4 sqm

Working from home

Working from home will be at employer’s discretion

Education

All year groups return to face-to-face learning

Weddings, funerals and places of worship

One person per 2 sqm for weddings with dancing permitted and eating and drinking allowed while standing

One person per 2 sqm for funerals

Churches and places of worship can operate with one person per 2 sqm, with singing permitted

Travel

Domestic travel, including trips between Greater Sydney and Regional NSW

Caravan parks and camping grounds can operate

Carpooling is permitted

Quarantine settings for vaccinated arrivals will be altered. A cap on unvaccinated travellers may remain

Masks

Masks wearing will be mandatory while travelling on public transport, on planes and at airports, and for front-of-house hospitality workers

Mask wearing is not required when outdoors.

For further information about the Reopening NSW roadmap, go to www.nsw.gov.au/COVID-19.

 

 

NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said fully vaccinated people would be able to return to Australia without any form of quarantine.  

‘That is not hotel quarantine, that is not home quarantine, you will be able to return home. If you are a person from another country who wants to visit or work in Australia, and you are fully vaccinated, you will be able to come to Australia and not have to quarantine,’ Mr Ayres said.  

Unvaccinated people will still be required to hotel quarantine. 

‘People coming into NSW, if they are transiting on to another state, they’ll have to abide by restrictions in that state so if that state requires quarantining people coming from NSW, they will still have to abide by that,’ Mr Ayres said. 

‘This will create a chance for people to come to NSW through Sydney and will also present a huge opportunity for Australians who haven’t been able to access flights because of the caps that we put in place to protect our local health systems.’

Mr Ayres said the NSW would not discriminate on who the state allowed in based on nationality.

'Hotel quarantine is a thing of the past. We are opening Sydney and New South Wales to the world, and that date will come in on November 1st,' NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Friday

‘Hotel quarantine is a thing of the past. We are opening Sydney and New South Wales to the world, and that date will come in on November 1st,’ NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Friday

‘There is no delineation between Australian citizens and other citizens of countries around the world.

‘The focal point here is a delineation between vaccination status so vaccinated and unvaccinated.’  

But he flagged the Federal Government will let people from some countries in before others because it will be quicker to set up systems to test the vaccination status of arrivals from certain countries. 

There were suggestions the Federal government was unaware the NSW announcement would apply to international travellers as well and that Prime Minister Scott Morrison had been blindsided by the news. 

The national re-opening plan agreed by all states and territories in August states that once 80 per cent of over 16s are vaccinated then there will be a ‘gradual opening of inward and outward travel with safe countries’. 

Mr Morrison is yet to comment on the changes announced by NSW. 

Meanwhile, Mr Perrottet said from Monday house visitation limits will double from 10 to 20 and outdoor gatherings from 30 to 50. 

‘Standing up in pubs will be back. There will be no limits on weddings and funerals,’ he said.  

Major recreation facilities will be allowed to host 5,000 spectators while entertainment facilities can return to 75 per cent capacity.

Weddings and funerals will no longer have a cap on the number of guests.

NSW is quickly closing in on its 80 per cent of adults double vaccinated target as the state reports 399 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday

NSW is quickly closing in on its 80 per cent of adults double vaccinated target as the state reports 399 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday

The 20-person cap on bookings at restaurants and other hospitality venues will also be scrapped from November 1. 

‘We have only been able to do this because of the significant effort of the people across New South Wales have made in getting us to this point,’ Mr Perrottet said. 

NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole confirmed the decision to delay travel to the regions until November 1 had been taken because of the risk to communities where vaccination rates lag behind the cities.

Delaying regional travel was necessary to protect communities from a virus outbreak because only 36 per cent of regional local government areas have populations where 80 per cent are double vaccinated.

‘We have to make sure that there is a balance between protecting communities and opening up,’ Mr Toole said.

Some 77.4 per cent of adults have now received two doses of the vaccine with 80 per cent expected to be double-jabbed by Saturday

Some 77.4 per cent of adults have now received two doses of the vaccine with 80 per cent expected to be double-jabbed by Saturday

Extra support for businesses in regional NSW affected by the delay in opening up the rest of the state would be provided, Mr Perrottet said.

‘The Job Centre payment which we are tapering off – we will extend that for regional New South Wales at 30 per cent of payroll until November 1,’ he said.  

Some 77.4 per cent of adults have now received two doses of the vaccine with 80 per cent expected to be double-jabbed by Saturday.  

Earlier Mr Toole said the decision to delay regional travel was ‘frustrating’. 

‘I know it’s a very difficult time because I know that people are wanting to pack their bags,’ he told 2GB on Friday morning.

‘They’re wanting to go to regional NSW, they want to go on a holiday, they want to go and catch up with family and their loved ones.’ 

Regional travel, which was expected to restart once the milestone was hit, has now been delayed until November 1

Regional travel, which was expected to restart once the milestone was hit, has now been delayed until November 1

‘I know it’s not an easy decision that’s been made. We have a responsibility here to make sure we keep our regional community safe.’    

The eased restrictions will come after NSW quietly launched the vaccine passport overnight.

For those who have received both jabs and have the updated Service NSW app on their phones, their vaccine status will pop up when they check into a venue using the standard QR code process.

Sydneysiders earlier had to scroll through their Medicare app or carry a paper certificate to prove to staff they’d been jabbed but now a green tick will appear whenever they sign into a business.

NSW is quickly closing in on its 80 per cent of adults double vaccinated target as the state reports 399 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday

NSW is quickly closing in on its 80 per cent of adults double vaccinated target as the state reports 399 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday

For those wanting to take advantage of the new ‘VaxPass’ they will need to ensure their MyGov account account has been linked to Medicare.

Then either through the online MyGov site or the Express Plus Medicare app users are instructed to click ‘Proof of vaccinations’ and then ‘View history’.

They will then be given the option to choose their Covid vaccine digital certificate and link this with the Service NSW app.

Customer Service minister Victor Dominello tweeted a photo of his vaccine passport while checking into a cafe on Friday morning.

The system had earlier attracted criticism for not being ready when Sydney was finally freed from its gruelling four-month lockdown on Monday.

With the launch overnight, the vaccine passport was up and running three days earlier than Mr Dominello had planned, making it a whole lot easier for pub goers heading out for Friday night drinks.

Several security measures will be in place including a hologram of the NSW Waratah logo to help businesses ensure their customers are complying with the rules. 

Trials of the app had been carried out in clubs and aged care facilities in Port Macquarie, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga and Lismore.  

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