Sydney opens its borders to fully vaccinated Australians

·2-min read
Sydney will open up to domestic tourists after exiting lockdown on Monday (Getty Images)
Sydney will open up to domestic tourists after exiting lockdown on Monday (Getty Images)

Vaccinated Australian travellers will be able to visit Sydney from November without having to quarantine.

New South Wales premier Dominic Perrett said the city needed to “rejoin the world” by opening its borders to domestic tourism.

It follows three months of lockdown in the capital in response to the rapid spread of the Delta variant, with New South Wales imposing a mandatory quarantine on travellers from other Australian states.

From November 1, Australian citizens and their relatives will be able to visit Sydney without needing to self-isolate for 14 days. New South Wales will also allow 210 unvaccinated travellers to enter each week, but they must quarantine in a hotel.

Announcing the move on Friday, Mr Perrett said: “We need to rejoin the world. We can’t live here in a hermit kingdom. We’ve got to open up.”

Prime minister Scott Morrison said the country would proceed with opening up travel in a “staged way” as the pace of vaccination increased. Nearly 80 per cent of citizens in New South Wales have now received their first dose of the jab.

However, Mr Morrison denied any suggestion that foreign tourists would be able to enter in early November, stressing that it was “for the Commonwealth and federal government to decide when the border opens and shuts at an international level”.

He added: “We are not opening up to everyone coming back to Australia at the moment.

“This is about Australian residents and citizens first.”

After keeping the virus at bay through a programme of mass testing and border control, Australia saw a sharp rise in cases at the beginning of August – forcing multiple states to close their borders.

Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have all banned travel from infected states such as New South Wales and Victoria in an attempt to keep their case numbers low.

Sydney emerged from a 107-day lockdown on Monday after seeing a sustained fall in its infection rate. New South Wales reported 399 cases on Friday, well down from the state’s pandemic high of 1,599 in early September.

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