New South Wales (NSW), Australia has announced a plan to open its borders to fully vaccinated international arrivals starting Nov. 1, saying they "want people back."
NSW premier Dominic Perrottet revealed on Friday, Oct. 15, that the state would allow international tourists who have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine without having to quarantine either at home or a hotel.
The announcement comes ahead of the state reaching the 80 percent fully vaccinated milestone, which is expected to occur over the weekend.
"Quarantine is a thing of the past. We are opening Sydney and New South Wales to the world," Perrottet said during the press conference.
"We can’t live here in a hermit kingdom. We’ve got to open up, and this decision today is a big one, but it is the right one to get NSW connected globally," he added.
However, only those who are fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) are exempted from the no-quarantine rule.
Travelers will also need to submit a negative RT-PCR test before boarding their flight and will have to show proof of vaccination.
Those who are not fully vaccinated can still enter the state, but will have to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
There will also be a cap of 120 unvaccinated people per week.
The aim of the decision is to allow stranded Australians abroad to get home "in time for Christmas" and to relaunch their economy.
Since the pandemic started in March 2020, all states and territories in Australia have required all overseas passengers to quarantine in hotels, at their own expense, for two weeks.