‘No change to our cross border travel’ ACT says as NSW eases rules for entering state

By Jackson Graham

Friday October 15, 2021

Andrew Barr
ACT chief minister Andrew Barr. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

NSW has eased its restrictions for people leaving the ACT and entering the state but the terrority still requires residents returning from beyond its border bubble to have an exemption and quarantine for 14 days. 

A statement from the NSW government said on Thursday night that the ACT was no longer an “area of concern” and ACT residents would now be subject to the same rules as people in NSW. 

The change means they won’t have to complete a declaration form on entry to NSW or follow stay-at-home rules when they arrive. 

The NSW rules allow anyone living in regional NSW who is fully vaccinated to travel anywhere in the state but they cannot enter Greater Sydney without a reasonable excuse. 

But as the ACT’s lockdown began to ease on Friday, the border rules between the two jurisdictions are yet to become harmonious. 

The ACT government website said on Friday morning that “there is no change to our cross border travel arrangements” following the NSW announcement. 

“An ACT resident travelling into NSW beyond our border postcodes will be required to have an exemption prior to their return to the ACT and quarantine for 14 days,” a statement said. 

“NSW residents can enter the ACT for approved reasons if they are from our border postcodes and have not travelled outside of the approved postcodes. Otherwise, they will require an exemption to enter the ACT.” 

The ACT has a border bubble with NSW which covers 27 postcodes and territory residents are permitted to travel to those areas for work, education, to access care and attend weddings and funerals among other reasons. 

ACT chief minister Andrew Barr said this week that “common travel arrangements” were likely to come into effect with NSW from late October when both jurisdictions were above 80% vaccination rates. 

On Thursday, the ACT had 76.97% of the population older than 16 fully vaccinated and NSW had 77.77%. 

NSW recorded 399 cases on Friday and four deaths in the past 24 hours. It came as Victoria, which has 62.65% of the population fully vaccinated, recorded 2179 coronavirus cases and six further deaths. 

NSW stops hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated arrivals 

Fully vaccinated people arriving in NSW, including on international flights, won’t have to quarantine in hotels or homes from November 1 and arrivals from overseas will be uncapped. 

“Hotel quarantine will be a thing of the past,” NSW premier Dominic Perrottet declared at a press conference on Friday morning. 

He said vaccinated international travellers would have to do a PCR test before boarding a flight. 

“It’s going to be a boom for people coming home, it’s going to be a boom for our tourism industry as we come out of this pandemic,” Perrottet said. 

He said there was “no reason” people who were fully vaccinated should have to quarantine in hotels or in homes. 

Overseas arrivals who have not been fully vaccinated will be capped at 210 a week and will undergo 14 days in mandatory hotel quarantine. 

Vaccines to be considered for young

Meanwhile, the Therapeutic Goods Administration on Thursday provided provisional determination for Pfizer to apply for its vaccine for five to 11-year-olds.

“There are then three stages from here,” federal health minister Greg Hunt explained. 

He said Pfizer would need to submit data, the TGA would assess the data and if they give it the green light the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation would then consider it. 

“And if they provide a green light, then we provide the vaccine,” Hunt said. 


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