Confusion reigns as NSW Premier opens his state to the whole world on November 1 but there’s no word from Scott Morrison who actually controls the international border
NSW’s major announcement it would open up to the whole world from November 1 has sparked mass confusion.
Premier Dominic Perrottet announced that arrival caps as well any type of quarantine for vaccinated Australians and foreigners flying into Sydney would be scrapped in two weeks.
But the Federal Government is in charge of the international border and there has been no word yet from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
NSW’s major announcement it would open up to the whole world from November 1 has sparked mass confusion
Australia’s international border has been closed since March 2020 to reduce the spread of coronavirus – and no date has been set for a re-opening.
The national re-opening plan agreed by all states and territories states that once 80 per cent are vaccinated then there will be a ‘gradual opening of inward and outward travel with safe countries’.
However, NSW said it would welcome people from any country around the world as long as they are vaccinated.
‘There is no doubt that the Commonwealth will be able to do that with some countries faster than others and they will also be able to do that in conjunction with many airlines are faster than others so there will be some incremental staging that has brought about by the ability for the Commonwealth to verify vaccination status but we are not delineating between countries,’ NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres.
‘There is no delineation between Australian citizens and other citizens of countries around the world.
‘The focal point here is a delineation between vaccination status so vaccinated and unvaccinated.
‘Will require the Commonwealth like they do with these as to ensure that a person is fully vaccinated,’ he said.
The announcement left residents confused over the border rules.
‘Australian borders at this stage are closed to international travel with only a few exemptions and has been since March 2020. Only the Fed Gov can open them not a state,’ one NSW resident wrote on Twitter.
But other said Mr Perrottet was not opening the border but only changing health rules.
‘I read it as ending enforcing quarantine requirements for the vaccinated, not opening the borders,’ one wrote.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said he had spoken to the Prime Minister about the changes.
‘I’ve had numerous discussions with the prime minister over the course of this period about dispensing with hotel quarantine – they support this policy,’ he told reporters in Sydney.
‘They will need to implement it from a border perspective and we want tourists back into the state as quickly as possible.’
Mr Perrottet said he could not control other states’ quarantine requirements but urged overseas travellers to spend time in Sydney if they needed to.
‘If you’re a returning Australian and you want to come here, stay in New South Wales and stay in Sydney,’ he said.
‘Have a great time here before you go home and spend up big.’
Overseas travel in and out of Sydney is increasingly likely to be allowed before some interstate and regional trips across Australia.
The Morrison government has urged states to drop hard borders when 80 per cent vaccination rates are reached.
But some jurisdictions are not expected to reach that target until December at the earliest.
The WA government has signalled it won’t open to states with coronavirus until next year.
NSW recorded 399 new local coronavirus infections on Friday, while case numbers in Victoria continue to soar with 2179 registered.
There were six deaths in Victoria and four in NSW.
Australia has fully vaccinated 65.4 per cent of its eligible population aged 16 and over, while more than 83.6 per cent have received their first dose.