New South Wales and Victoria have changed rules to end isolation requirements for household contacts of COVID-positive people from this weekend. Rules for overseas travels have also been amended.
According to the changes announced by the NSW government on Wednesday, the unvaccinated international returning travellers will not be required to undertake hotel quarantine from April 30.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet thanked NSW residents for their “effort and sacrifice” in abiding by restrictions over the last few years.
“Today is a day where the people of our state can be incredibly proud to be in a position where we have had an incredibly low death rate,” he said.
“We have put downward pressure on our health system and that is because of the efforts and sacrifice people have made.
“Overall, the balance we have been able to strike here in our state has led not just of the country but the world.”
Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley also announced the changes to the state’s COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday, saying high vaccination rates and the downward trend in infections meant the rules could be eased without compromising community safety.
Travellers coming to NSW must:
Get tested if symptoms develop, even if mild, and self-isolate until a negative result is received, even if they tested negative on arrival. A PCR test is preferred.
Not enter high-risk settings (aged care, disability care, healthcare and correctional facilities) for at least seven days after arrival in NSW or 7 days after leaving quarantine if not fully vaccinated. This does not include accessing personal care.
The NSW COVID and Economic Recovery Committee decided to change the rules in a meeting last night. The change would mean people living with COVID-19 patients would no longer need to quarantine for seven days.
The decision is expected to help businesses experiencing staff shortages.
NSW recorded 15,414 COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths on Tuesday, while Victoria saw 10,628 new infections and 14 deaths.
“A range of issues continue to be discussed at the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC),” An NSW Government spokesperson said.
“The NSW Government is working through these and will make further changes if it is satisfied that the community’s safety is given priority.”
Victoria eases most restrictions
With almost 70 per cent of adults in Victoria now armed with their third dose – the state will move into winter safely with most restrictions removed from 11:59pm, Friday 22 April.
Patrons won’t be required to have two doses or show their vaccination status before entering any venue
The requirement for staff and patrons of venues to check-in using the Service Victoria app will end, with operators not required to keep any attendance records or maintain a check-in marshal
Masks will no longer be required in primary schools, early childhood, hospitality and retail settings, or at events of any size
Close contacts will no longer have to quarantine – provided they wear a mask indoors and avoid sensitive settings. They will also need to undertake at least five negative rapid tests over the seven days that would previously have been the self-quarantine period
All visitor restrictions in hospitals will be removed except for mask requirements, with health services able to tailor their own settings based on their own circumstances
Events with more than 30,000 people will no longer require public health pre-approval
International travellers who are symptom-free will be recommended but not required to get a PCR or rapid test on arrival, and unvaccinated travellers will no longer complete 7 days’ quarantine. Pre-departure tests for unvaccinated air crew will also be lifted
People are exempt from testing or quarantine for 12 weeks if they’ve had COVID-19 – up from 8 weeks