Victoria scraps quarantine for overseas travellers

Hotel or home quarantine will no longer be required for double-jabbed jet setters.

By David Flynn, October 22 2021
Victoria scraps quarantine for overseas travellers

Victoria will join New South Wales in ending hotel and home quarantine for international travellers as of November 1, provided they've been fully-vaccinated and return two negative Covid-19 test results.

That's the same date as already set by NSW, and the point at which Victoria is expected to reach the 80% milestone of double-dose vaccination.

"This is a freedom of movement we've not been able to enjoy for a long time, and that's all because Victorians got vaccinated in record time and in record numbers," Premier Daniel Andrews said.

Andrews added the state could now move away from quarantine because "at 80%, 90% (vaccination rates) – which is where we're going to get to – we are as protected as we can be."

However, also in keeping with NSW, unvaccinated travellers – along with those who have received a vaccine not recognised in Australia – will need to enter 14 days of hotel quarantine at their own expense, and subject to a cap of 250 unvax'd arrivals per week.

Double-jabbed travellers will need to undergo two Covid-19 PCR tests – one within 72 hours of their flight to Melbourne, and another taken 24 hours after they arrive.

As has been seen in Sydney, airlines are expected to bring forward the date for restarting international flights from Melbourne, ramping up their existing skeleton schedule or opening up the sale of all seats on both the inbound and outbound legs of existing flights.

Qantas will fast-track the return of its Melbourne-London and Melbourne-Singapore flights, previously slated to resume mid-December, to November, although at a reduced frequency, while Melbourne-Los Angeles remains pegged for December 19.

Also ramping up are Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways, while Thai Airways is likely to move forward its Bangkok-Melbourne flights currently scheduled for April 2022.

Victoria's announcement will also put pressure on other states and territories to follow suit, although Queensland and Western Australia have already indicated they won't reopen their international borders to quarantine-free travel until early 2022.

Also read: Expert 'insider tips' to speed up your Australian passport renewal

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 377

Life starting to get closer to normal. Looking forward to it.

JJM
JJM

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Mar 2013

Total posts 26

If this ensues, Queensland will be hopelessly wedged, and will most likely fall into line, but most likely just in time for Christmas. Bring it on!

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 509

Normally I would agree but there is a small matter of political baggage from previous point scoring against the Commonwealth government, namely that qld govt supported quarantine camp which will require a difficulty of 4.8 to weasel out of explaining why it had to be built despite supposedly agreeing to the National Cabinet plan to get out of the pandemic measure.

But I am sure the spin doctors will sort it out and they will try to force the commonwealth to use it for the asylum seekers onshore detention

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1021

The Victorian camp is already looking a bit redundant but given it was made on the agreement of both the state and federal governments, some use will be found for it, probably replacing hotel quarantine for non-vaccinated arrivals.

The Qld camp at Wellcamp was not built with the agreement of or funding from the Federal government so the Feds probably won't be too interested in what happens to it and, if it turns into a white elephant, that will be for the Qld Gov't to explain.

We were slow to get to building these camps but, realistically, when we finally got around to it, it was already too late and it was easy to see that the need for them would soon be declining as the vax rate continued to accelerate.  The Vic and Feds were slow getting going with the Mickleham camp; the actions of Queensland are just mystifying unless they thought it was going to be a trigger to get int'l pax flights into Wellcamp which was always a long bow.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 509

To be honest I really don’t think anyone (except the pessimists) expected the disruption is as long as it did, and unfortunately the pessimists were right to some extent (although the availability of effective vaccine were beyond most people’s wildest dream….. which is part of the reason for the vaccine hesitancy)

Furthermore I don’t think anyone have a good grip of how many people and their reported dependents wanted to come back to Australia, some due to the relative safety of Australia from rampant disease and others due to loss of expat jobs.

I suspect come 1 Nov there will be a short glut of returning Australians for a few months but the rest who had registered to want to come back probably will not take up the opportunity when jobs markets and travel start to open up again, in US, EU and UK and the rest taking advantage of the opening up of borders for the next few months will be those family/parental reunion allowed by today’s announcement. 

Hence those 45k Aussies registered with DFAT may turn out to be 15k when the opportunity presents itself to actually buy a ticket to return (assuming 2/3 on the list would be vaccinated, although not necessarily those recognised by TGA) and maybe another 8k are unvaccinated and hence needed to come by the arrival cap restrictions. 

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 509

Hah, today’s Fairfax article titled

Dual nationals rush to book flights after parents get the nod as immediate family” 

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 496

I haven't read that article but of what relevance is the mention of "dual nationality?" A holder of Australian citizenship is every bit as Australian whether they hold multiple passports or only one. I hold multiple nationalities of which Australian is one. Since an Australian passport is required for entry into Australia, I don't get the point of mentioning dual nationals, who clearly have zero issues.

It's foreigners who do NOT possess Australian nationality but are married to Aussies that is being referred to here as having the right to seek an exemption.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 509

@TheFreqFlyer

It’s Fairfax’s headline not mine. In retrospect, I agree there may be some profiling on they way that was put.

 I was more interested with the part of the headline about parents being now considered as immediate family for arrivals.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 496

@XWu, I know. I like to vent when I see something I don't agree with. LOL. It was clearly directed at FairFax. Again, I haven't read the article so I'm assuming the author is confused about the meaning of "dual nationals" when the problem is there is an important word missing whenever such topics come up, which may cause confusion.

"Australian citizens and their families". Why not make it clearer by adding "and their foreign family members" or something? I don't see the problem with the word "foreign". By specifying that someone is a foreigner or a non-citizen, it becomes clear that they are not Australian but in this case, they are allowed to travel to Australia by virtue of being married to a citizen or being a parent of a citizen.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 496

This goes back to what I was saying last year - which was when quarantine requirements are finally lifted, they'll go straight from hotel quarantine to no quarantine. There is little reason for a country that has imposed hotel quarantine for over 18 months now to first go to home quarantine.

09 May 2016

Total posts 11

This is very good news. One big question : Are they talking about Australian citizen stranded overseas who wish to return to AUSTRALIA ? OR REGULAR  Non essential travelers/tourists ? That is me dying to return to the best country in the world.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1021

Returning Australians and permanent residents will be the first allowed to return.  Foreign citizens who require a visa or ETSA to enter Australia aren't covered as yet; it is only Australian citizens and permanent residents and their families so you should be able to get home in the next month or so provided you have already had an approved double vax.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 496

@cross40, it doesn't matter whether an Australia citizen lives in Australia or not. Every Australian should be treated the same. Foreigners can be discriminated against by being denied entry, but not Aussies.

You can't divide Aussies into two categories based on what they do for a living or where they reside. Some people might have lived overseas for years, lost their jobs during the pandemic and want to return home. Others want to visit family and friends. It doesn't matter what the reason is - Aussies always have the right of entry, foreigners do not. The only group of foreigners that do, are permanent residency holders as long as their visas are still valid.

This is the way it is in every country on Earth.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

05 Nov 2014

Total posts 60

So a second state reneges on the National Plan. Doherty is dead.

For the record, Australia is required under the plan to transition between phases TOGETHER and is currently at Phase A as several states are short of the 70% threshold to exit Phase A, and NSW and Victoria have failed to reach the Test, Trace, Isolate and Quarantine benchmarks required to enter Phase B.

Yet NSW and Vic have leaped to Phase D even though they have failed to reach the benchmarks to do so.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 509

@nouflyer

Not sure why you are upset, particularly with 2 particular states whose announcements are still being limited by federal government to who gets to come in.

Several other states so far have announced measures which does not adhere to the national plan even when their state vaccination hits the 70 or 80% target 

How one interpret the preamble “Phases triggered in a jurisdiction when the average vaccination rates across the nation have reached the threshold and that rate is achieved in a jurisdiction expressed as a percentage of the eligible population (16+), based on the scientific modelling conducted for the COVID-19 Risk Analysis and Response Task Force” based on 70% and 80% targets is obviously different to some others. 

The actual speech with this announcement includes the following: 

“The National Plan will move between phases once Australia reaches key vaccination thresholds - moving to Phase B once 70 per cent of the Australian population 16 years of age and older is fully vaccinated and Phase C once 80 per cent fully vaccinated threshold is met.”

Nothing about having every specific community or jurisdiction or state needed to be having the same vaccination rate, and neither did the Doherty report. 

The average vaccination rate for Australia is at least 70% now. 

Ironically when some states with lagging vaccination rates keeps their borders closed, the average (national) vaccination would still climb and likely to hit 80%. This would be similar in thinking to some states thinking of keeping remote communities locked in/out if low vaccination rates, when their metro capital cities get above 70% or 80% vaccinated. States locking out NSW and Vic is more likely to emboldened these 2 states to even open up more without reservations once the national vaccination cross 80%

Just trying to explain why some people like me do not agree with you, but you are of course entitled to have your interpretation of the National Cabinet plan


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