Covid-19 Australia: Overseas travellers banned from shops pubs and schools

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Confusion as Australians are finally allowed to go home without quarantine, told they must ‘severely restrict’ trips to shops, pubs and schools – despite two tests for Covid

  • Australia’s international borders reopened on Monday 1 November
  • Victoria, NSW to allow quarantined foreign travelers ‘without quarantine’
  • Arrivals to NSW from Vaxxed do not need to isolate the hotel but movement is limited for 7 days
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Australians returning from abroad aren’t really ‘quarantine-free’ as claimed, after it was found that they were denied nights out and some family contact inside for seven days after landing.

People who have been fully vaccinated on international flights landing in New South Wales and Victoria have been told in official announcements that they will avoid quarantine from 1 November.

There were heartwarming scenes at Sydney Airport on Monday, as vaccinated travelers hugged their loved ones as Australia’s international borders reopened 590 days after they were closed.

But new rules introduced as borders reopen mean international arrivals don’t get complete freedom right away – and some don’t get it at all.

International passengers landing in Sydney do not immediately enjoy full freedoms despite claims of the “no-quarantine” system – and some fear they are stuck in “de facto” isolation. The worst affected are the international flight crew (Pictured, the crew at Sydney Airport on November 1)

While fully vaccinated NSW residents are free to eat out and visit pubs, travelers from abroad will have to wait (pictured, companions in Sydney)

While fully vaccinated NSW residents are free to eat out and visit pubs, travelers from abroad will have to wait (pictured, companions in Sydney)

People arriving in NSW from abroad face movement restrictions until they receive three negative COVID-19 tests over a 10-day period.

All negative Covid tests must be negative PCR tests – within three days of departure, within one day of arrival and in NSW, within seven days of arrival.

International travelers to Victoria need two negative Covid PCR tests – one before departure and one within 24 hours or arrival.

The rules apply to all passengers, but most will be free to come and go as they like after receiving the third negative test.

The new rules are expected to have the biggest impact on international crews – who fear being stuck in “de facto isolation” because they often leave again within seven days of landing.

In order for a traveler to be recognized as fully vaccinated, they must also provide proof of having received the Covid vaccine approved in Australia.

In NSW, updated guidelines for fully vaccinated newcomers now warn even vaccinated arrivals that they “should not go to any high-risk, large gatherings or hospitality venues”.

This includes pubs, bars, restaurants, concerts, sports matches, schools and elderly care facilities.

The updated Public Health System rules apply to passengers and crews of international flights.

Since international flight crew often depart on their next flight within seven days of landing, they technically can't enjoy a meal or drink with family or friends in Sydney (pictured, Qantas crew Nov. 1)

Since international flight crew often depart on their next flight within seven days of landing, they technically can’t enjoy a meal or drink with family or friends in Sydney (pictured, Qantas crew Nov. 1)

Murray Butt, president of the International Australian Pilots Association, said flight crews will struggle to get the crew to operate under the circumstances.

“Seven days later, crews will operate another flight which means we are in an ongoing cycle of restriction of movement again.”

The real effect for flight crews, he said, is that the international access system is not without quarantine.

It is sad that there has not been a single confirmed case of Covid among the crew ‘based in Australia’ on more than 8,000 freight and repatriation flights during the pandemic.

“Most of us would never be allowed to go to a restaurant, bar or club with our family and friends,” said a Qantas pilot who did not wish to be named.

It is understood that Qantas has contacted the NSW government to clarify how long it intends to keep the new rules in place.

In Victoria, arriving passengers who are not fully vaccinated will have to undergo a 14-day hotel quarantine.

Children arriving in Victoria who are not fully vaccinated “should not visit child care, aged care facilities, disabled care facilities or hospitals (other than to receive emergency care).”

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