No more 72-hour self-isolation for vaccinated travellers to some parts of Australia from Dec. 21

On-arrival PCR test within 24 hours needed, and must isolate until have negative result.

Lean Jinghui | December 17, 2021, 07:52 PM

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From Tuesday, Dec. 21, all fully vaccinated international travellers and flight crew arriving in New South Wales and Victoria in Australia will no longer need to serve a 72-hour self-isolation requirement.

The three-day mandatory self-isolation requirement had previously been announced by the two states on Nov. 27, following concerns over the new Omicron Covid-19 variant.

This latest development effectively resinstates the two-way quarantine-free travel arrangement between Singapore and selected Australian states, which had begun on Nov. 21.

On-arrival PCR test within 24 hours

According to a Dec. 17 joint release, under updated measures, all fully vaccinated overseas travellers arriving in NSW (Sydney) and Victoria (Melbourne) will only be required to get a Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test within 24 hours after arrival.

They must also isolate, until they receive a negative result from their PCR test.

Testing for international arrivals is currently free in NSW and Melbourne, and can be done at a government testing site.

Alternatively, PCR testing can be paid for at the Sydney and Melbourne airports, with results generally out in less than an hour.

Other requirements, which include international travellers having to produce a negative pre-departure test within three days of departure, still stand.

NSW arrivals will also still need to get a follow-up PCR test on Day six after their arrival, while arrivals in Victoria must get a PCR test between days five and seven after arrival.

Overseas travellers arriving into NSW and Victoria aged 18 years and over, who are not fully vaccinated, must still go directly into 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine.

"Streamline of processes"

In its joint release, the premiers shared that the introduction of the "new streamlined arrivals processes" would help "simplify and clarify" the travel process.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said: “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.”

Both the states of Victoria and NSW currently have high double vaccination rates of over 90 per cent, for those aged 16 and over.

Acting Victorian Premier James Merlino shared: “With more than 92 per cent of Victorians 12 years and older double-vaccinated, 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.”

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