The New South Wales government has announced it will put a cap on the number of unvaccinated people flying into the state from overseas.

From November 1, only 210 unvaccinated people coming from overseas will be allowed to arrive in the state per week. For those who are unvaccinated, they will be required to undergo a two-week hotel quarantine.

The New South Wales government was trialling home quarantine for people arriving in Australia based around a mobile app using geolocation and face recognition, but NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism, and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said implementing such a measure at scale would be “immensely challenging”.

“There is absolutely no reason why we should take health staff or police staff or other public servants away from their frontline duties for them to monitor people in quarantine,” Ayres said.

“What the trial has told us is that technology works for identifying that people are in their home that they’re following the restrictions and quarantine requirements. It has also told us in the first two weeks, unequivocally, without doubt, that the resourcing required by the government to monitor that system does not make sense when you are operating within a 90% plus vaccination community.”

Vaccinated travellers, meanwhile, will not be required to undertake any form of quarantine. There will also be no cap for vaccinated travellers.

All overseas travellers that plan to come into the state will be required to return a negative COVID-19 test prior to onboarding a flight to Australia.

The travel updates were announced by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet on Friday morning along with other loosened restrictions for the state. The new rules are part of the state’s roadmap out of lockdown for when the state reaches an 80% fully vaccinated rate, which is expected to occur by the end of this week.

With states preparing to move out of lockdown once they reach higher vaccination rates, the Australian government is currently working on an international digital vaccination certificates to allow for outbound international travel in November.

“The government’s intention is that once changes are made in November, the current overseas travel restrictions related to COVID-19 will be removed and Australians will be able to travel subject to any other travel advice and limits, as long as they are fully vaccinated and those countries’ border settings allow,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at the start of this month. 

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