Travel between Sydney and the NSW regions is no longer restricted, vaccinated international arrivals no longer need to quarantine in NSW, and adults can now get a booster shot, on a landmark day for the state’s COVID-19 response.
From Monday, fully vaccinated people no longer need a reasonable excuse to leave or enter Greater Sydney.
The lifting of intrastrate travel restrictions will see families reunited for the first time in months and the return of regional tourism.
“For the first time in a long time, grandparents will be able to visit grandkids … many people will be reunited,” Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Sunday.
He’s confident it’s a safe time to allow Sydneysiders back into the rest of the state, with vaccination coverage now nearing 88 percent.
Of NSW residents aged over 16, 83.6 percent had received a first dose and 87.7 percent were fully vaccinated by Saturday.
In another major shift, international travellers who’ve received two doses of a recognised jab will no longer have to quarantine when they arrive in NSW, in a hotel, or at home.
Australians also no longer need permission to leave the country.
The change means Australians stranded overseas are much more likely to be able to come home for Christmas.
Monday will also see the state’s vaccine booster program become available to adults who received their second jab six months ago or longer.
The Pfizer doses will be available from pharmacies, GP clinics, and state-run hubs across the state.
Nationally, rapid antigen tests also become available on Monday.
The seismic changes come as NSW continues to see its case numbers and hospitalisations fall, despite lockdown rules being relaxed three weeks ago.
Some 177 people were diagnosed with COVID-19 statewide in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday, 59 fewer than the day before.
Now 340 people are in hospital with the virus, including 78 in intensive care.
One death was announced on Sunday – an unvaccinated women in her 70s from southwestern Sydney.