Confusion reigns as the Prime Minister of NSW opens his state to the world on November 1, but there is no report of Scott Morrison actually checking the international border
NSW’s big announcement that it would open to the world from November 1 has caused massive confusion.
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet announced that arrival limits and any form of quarantine for vaccinated Australians and foreigners flying into Sydney would be lifted within two weeks.
But the federal government is responsible for the international border and there is no word from Prime Minister Scott Morrison yet.
NSW’s major announcement that it would open to the world from November 1 has sparked massive confusion
Australia’s international border has been closed since March 2020 to reduce the spread of the coronavirus – and no date has been set for reopening.
The national reopening plan agreed by all states and territories in August states that once 80 percent of people over 16 have been vaccinated, there will be a “gradual opening of entry and exit from safe countries.”
However, NSW said it would welcome people from any country around the world as long as they are vaccinated from Nov. 1.
“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 that are faster than others, so there will be some step-by-step staging.” brought about by the Commonwealth’s ability to verify vaccination status, but we make no distinction between countries,” NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres.
“There is no separation between Australian citizens and other citizens of countries around the world.
‘The key here is the distinction between vaccination status as vaccinated and unvaccinated.
“Will need the Commonwealth, as they are doing with this one, to ensure that a person is fully vaccinated,” he said.
The announcement caused confusion among residents about the border rules.
“Australia’s borders are closed to international travel at this stage with only a few exceptions and this as of March 2020. Only the Fed government can open them, not a state,” a NSW resident wrote on Twitter.
But others said Perrottet didn’t open the border, just changed the health rules.
“I read it as an end to enforcing quarantine requirements for vaccinees, not as opening borders,” one wrote.
NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet said he had spoken to the Prime Minister about the changes.
“I’ve had numerous talks with the Prime Minister over this period about ending hotel quarantine – they support this policy,” he told reporters in Sydney.
“They will have to implement it from a border perspective and we want tourists back in the state as soon as possible.”
Perrottet said he couldn’t monitor other states’ quarantine requirements but urged foreign travelers to spend time in Sydney if needed.
“If you’re a returning Australian and you want to come here, stay in New South Wales and stay in Sydney,” he said.
“Have fun here before you go home and spend a lot of money.”
Overseas travel to and from Sydney will increasingly be allowed ahead of some interstate and regional travel across Australia.
The Morrison administration has urged states to drop hard limits when 80 percent vaccination coverage is reached.
But some jurisdictions are not expected to reach that goal until December at the earliest.
The WA government has indicated that it will not open to states with coronavirus until next year.
NSW registered 399 new local coronavirus infections on Friday, while the number of cases in Victoria continues to rise with 2,179 recorded.
There were six deaths in Victoria and four in NSW.
Australia has fully vaccinated 65.4 percent of the eligible population aged 16 and over, while more than 83.6 percent have received their first dose.