COVID-19 Update – New requirements for arriving international arrivals; Omicron case confirmed – Tuesday, 30 November 2021
The NSW Government will maintain measures and increase penalties for non-compliance as it continues to take a precautionary approach to quarantine arrangements for overseas arrivals in line with additional national border security measures by the Australian Government.
Consistent with Commonwealth measures, all travellers arriving in NSW who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini and Malawi during the 14 day period before their arrival in NSW must enter hotel quarantine for 14 days, irrespective of their vaccination status.
All other overseas travellers must complete a PCR test and isolate for 72 hours at a nominated address or accommodation. People will only be able to exit isolation at the end of the 72 hour period if they have received a negative result. After exiting isolation people must complete an additional PCR test on day six after arrival and comply with the NSW Health guidelines for recent fully vaccinated arrivals.
To help protect the community, the NSW Government will increase penalties for non-compliance with the isolation, testing and quarantine requirements to $5,000 for individuals (from $1,000) and $10,000 for corporations (from $5,000). This will take effect tomorrow.
These rules will take effect from December 1, 12.01am.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the measures were a necessary precaution to help keep people safe until more was known about the Omicron variant.
“We are well prepared here in NSW but it is important we take the necessary steps to protect the community and adopt measures that will allow us to learn to live with COVID,” Mr Perrottet said.
“We will continue to make any necessary changes as we receive updated information. Our overriding message, as always, is to continue to get vaccinated. It is still the best way to protect yourself and your family.”
The full measures will include:
- In line with Commonwealth measures, all travellers arriving in NSW who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini and Malawi during the 14 day period before their arrival in NSW must enter hotel quarantine for 14 days, irrespective of their vaccination status;
- All travellers who have been in any other overseas country during the 14 day period before their arrival in NSW must travel directly to their place of residence or accommodation and isolate for 72 hours. They will only be able to exit isolation at the end of the 72 hour period if they have received a negative result. People must also complete a PCR test on day six after arrival;
- All flight crew who have been overseas during the 14-day period before their arrival in NSW must comply with requirements for overseas returning travellers, until their next flight;
- Anyone who has already arrived in NSW who has been in any of the eight African countries within the previous 14 days must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days, and call NSW Health on 1800 943 553;
- From Wednesday 1 December, penalties for compliance with the isolation, testing and quarantine requirements will increase to $5,000 for individuals (from $1,000) and $10,000 for corporations (from $5,000);
- All unvaccinated travellers from any overseas country will continue to enter hotel quarantine.
Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said booster shots were still an important part of staying safe.
“If you are eligible for a booster, please make the booking and get the jab. As we continue to reopen and avoid lockdowns, booster shots are our best defence against what can be a deadly virus,” Mr Hazzard said.
“We will continue to monitor ATAGI advice in relation to boosters, and we have a comprehensive promotional campaign in place to remind people of the importance of boosters.
“I would warn anyone who can think they can skip the isolation requirements to think twice – we are taking this new variant incredibly seriously. Police and Health officials will be on the front foot to ensure compliance and significant penalties will apply for anyone found to be breaking the rules.”
Omicron confirmed in Central Coast case
NSW Health can officially confirm the traveller who recently arrived in NSW and is isolating at home on the Central Coast has been infected with the Omicron COVID-19 variant of concern.
The number of people with the Omicron COVID-19 variant of concern is now five.
The person, who is fully vaccinated, arrived in Sydney on flight QR908 from Doha to Sydney on 25 November and travelled by private car to the Central Coast. They had been in southern Africa. They also visited venues at Westfield Parramatta.
NSW Health reiterates that everyone on the flight is considered a close contact and will need to get tested immediately for COVID-19 and isolate for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status.
NSW Health is contacting all passengers and flight crew to advise them of their isolation requirements. They can also call NSW Health on 1800 943 553 for further advice.
Two more people who had been on the same flight, QR908, have now been confirmed as COVID-19 cases. Urgent genomic testing is underway for these travellers to determine if they have also been infected by the Omicron COVID-19 variant of concern. Neither of these two travellers had spent time in southern Africa.
NSW Health is awaiting the final results of genomic testing on a case now residing in Broken Hill, who also arrived on the same flight QR908. However, initial results indicate this person is unlikely to have been infected with the Omicron variant. This person is fully vaccinated and isolating at home. The results are expected tomorrow.
Extended testing hours in western Sydney
Western Sydney Local Health District have extended testing hours at key clinics across western Sydney including:
Western Sydney University (North Campus) – 70 Pemberton Street Parramatta – Drive Through, All Ages, 8am-8pm (until 8pm 1 December)
Wentworthville Community Centre – 69 Veron Street Wentworthville – Walk-in, All Ages, 7am-8pm, 7 days a week
Third Avenue Blacktown – Drive Through and Walk In, All Ages, 7am-8pm, 7 days a week