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NSW home quarantine for travellers and air crew to start in coming weeks

And the good news keeps on coming. Fully vaccinated returning travellers and air crew will be able to quarantine at home in NSW as part of a national push to replace reliance on repurposed hotels.

And the good news keeps on coming. Fully vaccinated returning travellers and air crew will be able to quarantine at home in NSW as part of a national push to replace reliance on repurposed hotels.

The home quarantine trial will let around 175 people who have received both doses of a vaccine, approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, quarantine at home for seven days.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison expects the program, run by the state and federal governments, to let more Australians come home and boost the supply of workers from overseas.

It will also be used for aircrew with Qantas, which is mandating vaccines for its employees.

The month-long trial to start in the coming weeks will be used to inform future home quarantine programs for the rest of the country. 

“NSW has carried the lion’s share of quarantining returning Australians and will be leading the way with this trial that could set the standard for the next phases of the way we live with COVID-19,” Mr Morrison said on Friday.

Facial Recognition App

Compliance will be tracked by an app, already in place for an existing South Australian home quarantine program, with geolocation and facial recognition technology.

People will also be provided with a schedule for COVID-19 testing.

Mr Morrison indicated hotel quarantine, which has resulted in numerous virus leaks and outbreaks, was nearing its “use-by date”.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian wanted to see hotels return to housing tourists as her state worked towards vaccine targets of 70 and 80 per cent.

“Hotel quarantine has been an important line of defence throughout this pandemic but as we move towards our vaccination targets, we have to look at new ways of doing things,” she said. 

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Qantas is set to restart international travel from mid-December.

Qantas boss, Alan Joyce responded to the announcement by saying “This is very welcome news for our crews who have been flying overseas to bring Australians home and to carry essential freight, chalking up months in quarantine since the pandemic began.

“They are all fully vaccinated and it will make a real difference to their lives being able to quarantine in their own home and to halve the amount of time they’re isolated.

“We’ve been working closely with the Federal and NSW Governments on how we can safely transition to home quarantine, which is an important stepping stone in re-starting international passenger services.

“As vaccine rates rise here and overseas, we’d like to see quarantine requirements relax further.”

Source: AAP