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People's Daily Online

Australian states ease quarantine rules despite increasing COVID-19 infections

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 13:31, December 18, 2021

SYDNEY, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Australia's states of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, the two major entry ports of the country, further eased quarantine rules for international travelers despite the increasing infections of COVID-19.

From Dec. 21, fully vaccinated international travelers and flight crew arriving in Sydney and Melbourne will no longer need a 72-hour quarantine. Instead, they will be required to get a PCR test within 24 hours after arrival and isolate until they receive a negative result, according to an announcement from the two states late Friday.

They also need to present a negative pre-departure test within three days of boarding their flight.

All international travelers arriving from overseas into the two states aged 18 and over who are not fully vaccinated must still go directly into 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said this announcement simplifies the process and makes sure Australia's two biggest cities have a consistent approach.

"This decision has been made with safety remaining the top priority, which is why all arrivals must return a negative PCR test before they can exit isolation and have an additional test following that," he said.

At the same time, NSW, the most populous state, is experiencing a continued sharp increase in COVID-19 cases. On Saturday, NSW recorded 2,482 new cases and one death out of 137,149 tests, another record-high daily increase since the pandemic outbreak early last year. A total of 206 people are in hospital and 26 in the ICU.

Victoria recorded 1,504 cases and seven deaths out of 88,083 tests. A total of 384 people are in hospital and 84 are in the ICU.

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