Vic to open for fully vaxxed NSW arrivals

·3-min read

Fully vaccinated people from NSW will be able to travel to Victoria before Melburnians can visit the regions, in what has been described as an "anomaly" as both states open up.

The Victorian government on Friday announced doubled-dosed people from "red zones" such as Greater Sydney will be able to enter Victoria without quarantining for 14 days from 11.59pm on October 19.

Instead, they must return a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before arrival in Victoria. They will then need to isolate upon arrival, get tested again within 72 hours and remain in isolation until they receive a negative result.

Fully vaccinated travellers from "orange zones" will no longer be required to get tested or isolate upon arrival.

Restrictions will not change for travellers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

The rules apply to both Victorians and non-residents with a permit.

Health Minister Foley said the changes are backed by health advice and come as Victoria approaches its vaccination targets, with 88 per cent of its over-16 population having had one vaccine dose and 63 per cent both.

However, it will mean people from NSW are allowed into Victoria before Melbourne residents are able to travel to the regions.

Melburnians are currently subject to a 15 kilometre travel limit, which will expand to 25km when 70 per cent of people over 16 are fully vaccinated.

Travel between Melbourne and the regions is banned until 80 per cent of eligible Victorians have had both doses.

"There will of course be transitional anomalies but as we get to 70 and 80 per cent, as per the roadmap, they will evaporate," Mr Foley told reporters.

With NSW scrapping hotel and home quarantine for international travellers from November 1, the border changes also pave the way for people to fly into Sydney and enter Victoria without quarantining.

Mr Foley said he wasn't briefed prior to NSW's announcement but insisted it "reinforced" Victoria's decision to change its arrangements.

The state will press ahead with building its Commonwealth-backed quarantine facility at Mickleham for international travellers who are unvaccinated or haven't had a recognised vaccine and those coming from high-risk countries, he added.

It comes as Victoria reported 2179 new cases on Friday, a slight drop on Thursday's record daily tally, and six deaths, three men and two women in their 80s and a woman in her 50s.

Their deaths take the toll from the current outbreak to 131.

Another 34 cases were recorded in Mildura, prompting a seven-day lockdown extension of the northwest Victorian township and surrounds.

Meanwhile, a vaccine mandate for more than 1.25 million authorised workers in the state came into effect on Friday.

Victorians permitted to work on-site must show proof they have had their first vaccination, or a booking within the next week, in order to keep working. They must then be fully vaccinated by November 26.

The public health order covers retail workers, personal trainers, journalists, faith leaders, police, actors, professional sportspeople and many others.

Healthcare and aged care workers were earlier required to be vaccinated.

Mr Foley said data indicated critical industry workforces such as teachers, police, nurses, firefighters and paramedics were more than 90 per cent vaccinated.

Only a "small number" of authorised workers are holding out and Mr Foley warned they could remain stood down "well into 2022".

"You are taking a huge and foolish risk if you think that the expiration of these current orders will see that obligation mysteriously vanished. It will be in place for a substantial period of time," he said.

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