COVID-19: NSW & Vic have changed quarantine/isolation restrictions for new ‘OMICRON’ variant
In an attempt to delay and isolate the new form of COVID-19 coming into Australia, ‘omicron’ New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria have announced that all passenger arrivals must go into 72 hours of isolation if already vaccinated irrespective of their departure point. These restrictions are in operation since the beginning of Sunday 28 November. If unvaccinated, then it’s 14 days of Quarantine as before.
Officials around the world are reacting to the news of a new COVID-19 variant that is emerging out of southern Africa. With 32 variations from the Delta strain, there is a fear that it may be more infections and/or more deadly. Vaccine protection is unproved against the new strain as yet. This story is sure moving quickly, and most pundits are warning of the worst. However there is some information from southern Africa that suggests the strain manifests with different symptoms that may be milder than the Delta strain, but this is yet to be confirmed.
Here’s what you need to know if arriving into NSW:
From 12am on 28 November, all fully vaccinated travellers arriving in NSW who have been in any overseas country must get a COVID-19 PCR (nose and throat) test and self-isolate at their accommodation or place of residence for at least 72 hours.
All travellers arriving in NSW who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Malawi, and the Seychelles in the 14-day period before their arrival will be required to enter hotel quarantine for 14 days, irrespective of their vaccination status.
Anyone who has already arrived in NSW and has been in these countries within the past 14 days must immediately get a COVID-19 PCR (nose and throat swab) test and self-isolate for 14 days. They must contact NSW Health on 1800 943 553.
All household contacts of these travellers should also get tested, self-isolate and follow the public health advice.
Vaccinated travellers can transit beyond Sydney to another NSW region or state to self-isolate and test.
All unvaccinated travellers from any overseas country will continue to enter hotel quarantine.
Read information from the Australian Government on travelling to Austra
Restrictions in Victoria are similar, and we can expect other Australian states to institute the same or tougher rules.
I love digital, except when my phone dies, which happened to me on the last night of my recent visit to New Zealand
Let’s hope that the early news out of southern Africa about the variant being milder is correct, while we prepare border rules and exclusions on the presumption that it is possibly worse and more infectious. In the meantime, if you are partially, completely not, or need a booster, get vaccinated as soon as possible. Keep monitoring the situation in case you need to change your pre and post Christmas travel arrangements.