Digital Desk, Sydney. The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, the country’s two major entry ports, will further ease quarantine rules for international travelers despite a surge in new COVID-19 cases. According to a report by Xinhua news agency, international passengers and flight crew arriving in Sydney and Melbourne from December 21 will no longer require a 72-hour quarantine. Instead, they will have to undergo a PCR test within 24 hours of arrival and self-isolate until a negative result is received, according to an announcement from both the states.
They will also have to submit a negative pre-departure test within three days of boarding their flight. All international travelers arriving from abroad in the two states aged 18 years and above will still have to go directly to the 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine. This decision has been made with safety being the top priority, which is why all arrivals must return a negative PCR test, he said.
At the same time, NSW, the most populous state, continues to experience a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases. On Saturday, NSW reported 2,482 new cases and one death from 137,149 tested. Another record-high daily increase has been recorded since the outbreak of the pandemic early last year. A total of 206 people are in hospital and 26 in ICU. Victoria has recorded 1,504 cases and seven deaths, while a total of 384 people are in hospital and 84 in ICU.