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NSW announces change to international travel as unvaccinated ‘Freedom Day’ arrives

Dr Kerry Chant revealed updated rules in a late-night statement on Tuesday.

NSW has announced an international travel rule change just hours before the state scrapped almost all COVID-19 restrictions.

Fully vaccinated arrivals from the eight southern African countries of concern will no longer have to enter 14 days hotel quarantine from 6am Monday.

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The tough measure had been brought in a fortnight ago amid concerns about the Omicron outbreak in South Africa.

The countries are South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini and Malawi.

Visa holders are now also allowed to enter the country and double dosed travellers from Japan, South Korea and Singapore can come to Australia for a holiday.

In a Tuesday night statement, Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said all fully vaccinated international arrivals must still self-isolate for 72-hours.

They cannot leave self-isolation for that time unless seeking a PCR test and must avoid “high-risk” settings, or risk fines of up to $5,000.

Dr Kerry Chant has announced changes to NSW’s international arrival rules.
Dr Kerry Chant has announced changes to NSW’s international arrival rules. Credit: Getty Images

“NSW Health also strongly encourages all international arrivals to have another test 12 days after arrival,” Dr Chant said.

“With the festive season upon us and people starting to gather in larger numbers, I urge everyone to maintain their vigilance and to continue to come forward for testing with even the slightest symptoms and to follow the public health advice.”

Any passengers arriving from overseas aged 18 years and over who are not fully vaccinated must go directly into 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine.

It comes as NSW removes even more restrictions from Wednesday December 15, with changes to masks, check-ins and more.

Unvaccinated people now also have the same freedoms as their double dosed friends and families.

Click here to see the full list of changes.

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