The Australian government has announced quarantine-free entry for Australian citizens, permanent residents and immediate families arriving in Sydney from the first of November.

This implies that fully vaccinated Australians arriving in Sydney from overseas will not be required to quarantine for two weeks starting Nov. 1.

In a briefing, Prime Minister Scott Morrison overruled Premier Perrottet’s statement that Sydney is being “opened to the world”, stating that the easing of restrictions is only meant for Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families.

What this means

In March 2020, during the heat of the pandemic, Australia shut its international borders in a bid to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and hence, allowed only citizens and permanent residents to enter, however, with the condition that they must go through two weeks of quarantine.

This new development means that people who fall under those categories as stated by the Prime Minister would be allowed at will to leave and return to Sydney without the need to quarantine.

The Prime Minister stated that “This is about Australian residents and citizens first”.

“Commonwealth Government has made no decisions to allow other visa holders … to come into Australia under these arrangements. They are decisions for the Commonwealth Government, as the premier and I know,” he added.

Although there were no indications as to when border restrictions will be eased to allow for other foreign travellers to enter the country, the prime minister said it would be done “in a staged and careful way”.

Victoria, another major state in Australia, has also begun its gradual reopening, which entails that certain restrictions will only be lifted when the vaccination rate hits a certain benchmark.