New South Wales throws open the borders to international travellers

New South Wales throws open the borders to international travellers – with isolation requirements eased for fully-vaccinated arrivals

NSW has eased requirements for international arrivals, with fully vaccinated travellers no longer having to isolate for 72 hours.

From Tuesday, overseas arrivals to Sydney will have to get a COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours and isolate at home until they return a negative result.

Unvaccinated adult travellers are still required to complete 14 days of hotel quarantine.

The new rules are in line with Victoria but international travellers in NSW must also undergo another test on the sixth day after arriving.

International flight crew members who arrive in Australia and are fully vaccinated must self-isolate until they have a negative COVID-19 test result, or until they depart on a flight leaving Australia.

NSW has things easier for overseas arrivals a day after the premier called for more responsibility

NSW Health is urging people to keep wearing masks indoors and health experts are calling for a return to mask mandates indoors, as nervous people cancel or reconsider summer holiday travel plans.

But a week after mask requirements were removed for all but the highest risk settings, Premier Dominic Perrottet says it’s time for “personal responsibility”.

‘We are treating the people of our state like adults,’ he said on Monday.

Meanwhile, there are long queues at testing facilities as people seek reassurance they won’t have to go into isolation for Christmas and pharmacies and shops are running out of Rapid Antigen Tests.

NSW recorded 2501 COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours until 8pm on Sunday – a drop of 65 cases on the previous day’s record high of 2566.

There are 261 patients in hospital – up from 227 – and 33 people are in ICU, an increase of five.

Newcastle remains the epicentre of the Omicron cluster with more than a quarter – 660 – of the new cases recorded in the Hunter, and there are 4368 active cases in the district.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant is urging caution this Christmas and recommended people take a rapid antigen test before going to an indoor gathering.

‘Choose outdoor, well-ventilated places for gatherings and limit the size of those gatherings,’ she said.