Overseas arrivals into NSW, Victoria and the ACT must isolate for 72 hours

All overseas arrivals travelling into New South Wales, the ACT and Victoria will need to get tested and isolate for at least 72 hours under new measures.
The move is one of several precautionary steps which will take effect from midnight tonight, in response to the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant overseas.
There are several new measures which will take effect at midnight tonight.
There are several new measures which will take effect at midnight tonight. (Bloomberg)

All travellers arriving in to Australia who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Malawi, and the Seychelles during the 14 day period before their arrival must enter hotel quarantine for 14 days.

This is irrespective of a traveller’s vaccination status.

Both NSW and Victoria are taking it one step further by announcing that all fully vaccinated travellers who have been in any other overseas country during the two week period before their arrival must travel directly to their place of residence or accommodation and isolate for 72 hours.

Victoria Health said these changes also apply to unvaccinated children under 12 years old, and unaccompanied minors, and anyone medically exempt from vaccination.

And in Victoria this extends out to anyone the traveller is residing with for the 72 hour quarantine period.

The ACT government announced that any fully vaccinated overseas travellers arriving from midnight tonight from countries other than those six Southern African nations must quarantine until 11.59pm on Tuesday, November 30.

This is as opposed to the other states implementing 72 hours from arrival isolation requirements.

All unvaccinated travellers from any overseas country will continue to enter hotel quarantine for 14 days in both states and the ACT.

Additionally, in NSW all airline cabin crew will be subjected to the same restrictions currently in place for unvaccinated flight attendants, regardless of their vaccination status.

“All flight crew who have been overseas during the 14-day period before their arrival in NSW must travel directly to their place of residence or accommodation and isolate for 14 days or until their departure on another flight that leaves Australia, consistent with the current rules for unvaccinated flight crew,” a spokesperson said.

While in Victoria, the rules are different depending on vaccination status and where the flight attendants are based.

All vaccinated Australian-based aircrew who have been to one of the nine Southern African countries must quarantine for 14 days at their place of residence or alternate accommodation until their next flight.

airplane cabin
In Victoria the rules are different for airline cabin crew depending on vaccination status and where the flight attendants are based (iStock)

All vaccinated Australian-based aircrew arriving from another international country and have not been to one of the nine countries listed must quarantine at home or their place of residence for 72 hours.

International aircrew will have to quarantine in Victoria’s hotel quarantine program for 72 hours or 14 days – depending on whether they have been in one of the nine countries or not. Testing requirements also apply.

Unvaccinated aircrew must spend 14 days in hotel quarantine or until their next flight.

The Victorian Department of Health say the public health orders will be reviewed after three days and may be extended if necessary, based on public health advice.

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“These changes are safe and proportionate measures we can take to protect Victorians from the new Omicron COVID-19 variant of concern, while still allowing overseas travellers to come into Victoria,” Victoria’s Acting Chief Health Officer Deborah Freidman said.

“We’ll continue to work with the Commonwealth Government and state and territory colleagues to better understand the potential implications for this new variant and which actions are required to keep Australians protected.”

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said authorities around the world “are still investigating the risk posed by this new variant”.

“As a result, the NSW Government will continue to put community safety first by taking these precautionary but important steps until more information becomes available,” Mr Perrottet said.

Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said no cases of the Omicron variant have been identified in NSW to date, but urged everyone to stay vigilant.

“I remind the community that vaccination, social distancing and hand hygiene remain our best defence against COVID,” Mr Hazzard said.

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