Quarantine will be “a thing of the past” for fully vaccinated travelers entering Australia’s most populous state.
New South Wales’ top official, Dominic Perrottet, has just give a concrete date for the resumption of international travel between Sydney and the rest of the world. At a press conference today, the new state Premier announced that quarantine requirements would be dropped from November 1 for double-vaccinated returning Australians and foreign tourists. Perrottet added that travelers would need to take a PCR test before boarding the flight and show proof of vaccination upon arrival. There was previously no set date for Australia’s reopening from the federal government in Canberra, and airlines such as Qantas went on the assumption that it would take place sometime in the middle of November.
“So [for] the double-vaccinated people right around the world, Sydney, New South Wales is open for business,” Perrottet said. “We want people back, we’re leading the nation of this pandemic, hotel quarantine, home quarantine is a thing of the past. We are opening Sydney and New South Wales to the world, and that day will come in on 1 November, and we’ll continue to work closely with the Commonwealth government to make sure protections are in place so that we keep people safe but we rejoin the world.”
Qantas has reacted to the news by bringing forward the resumption of its international flights to November 1. The airline will operate up to five return flights a week from Sydney to London and up to four return flights a week from Sydney to Los Angeles with its Boeing 787 Dreamliners from that date. However, initial flights will be limited to Australian citizens, permanent residents, and their immediate families and parents in line with requirements set out by the federal government.
Flights to other destinations including Singapore, Fiji and Vancouver are still scheduled to restart from December 18, but Qantas is looking at resuming some additional routes out of Sydney at an earlier date given the shift to end quarantines for fully vaccinated travelers arriving in New South Wales.