Sydney Drops Travel Quarantine, Wants To Open To World

Sydney Drops Travel Quarantine, Wants To Open To World

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In early October we learned that Australia plans to open its borders in November, as the country hits an 80% vaccination rate. This comes after the country’s borders have more or less been shut since March 2020.

However, “opening borders” doesn’t necessarily mean what you’d think it does. This just means that Australians will be allowed to leave the country, and can then return with a quarantine (including the potential for home quarantine).

Well, the execution of this is turning out kind of funny, with each state being able to make its own rules around quarantine.

New South Wales ready to fully reopen without quarantine

On Friday, Dominic Perrottet, the Premier of New South Wales, caught everyone off guard with an announcement surrounding travel:

  • As of November 1, Perrottet wants to fully scrap the quarantine for travelers arriving in New South Wales, meaning that vaccinated travelers coming from abroad wouldn’t have to quarantine in a facility, or even at home
  • Perrottet even wants to welcome foreign visitors, signaling that New South Wales is “open for business” and that the days of living in a “hermit kingdom” are “over”

Now, there’s only one slight problem with Perrottet’s proclamation — while the state government has the ability to dictate quarantine requirements (or lack thereof), it’s up to the federal government to decide who is and isn’t allowed to enter the country. So Perrottet has the power to scrap the quarantine for arriving travelers, but he doesn’t have the ability to open to foreigners, without the approval of the federal government.

The federal government isn’t happy

Apparently Prime Minister Scott Morrison was caught off guard and shocked by Perrottet’s announcement. Morrison also wants to reopen travel as of November, but only for Australians to be able to go abroad and return home with a quarantine, rather than to fully open to foreigners.

Here’s what Morrison had to say about Perrottet’s comments:

“We are not opening up to everyone coming back to Australia at the moment. I want to be clear about that. It is for the Commonwealth and Federal Government to decide when the border opens and shut at an international level and we will do that. In the first instance it will be for Australian residents and their families. We will see how that goes. The Commonwealth government has made no decision to allow other visa holders, student visa holders, international visitors travelling.”

This is going to get messy…

Who needs the drama of reality TV when you have Australia’s border reopening? What’s so tricky here is that each state in Australia can choose its own quarantine requirements, and can also choose whether to remain open to other states.

The Premiers of different states have vastly different takes on what a reopening should look like, with some wanting to fully reopen to all vaccinated people without quarantine, and some seemingly wanting to keep their states closed forever.

It sure seems to me like we’ll soon be at the point where it’s significantly easier to travel internationally than between states. You know the more conservative states are going to continue to keep their borders closed to New South Wales (with the high number of cases there), and I’m curious to see what eventually gives…

Bottom line

Australia plans to start allowing residents to travel again as of November 2021, as the country reaches an 80% vaccination rate. It’s up to individual states to decide on quarantine requirements, and it has been announced that the Premier of New South Wales wants to scrap it entirely. While he also wants to reopen to travelers from around the world, ultimately immigration policies are in the hands of the federal government, so that’s beyond his purview.

What do you make of New South Wales’ plan to scrap quarantine?

PS: Before anyone calls me out for putting “Sydney” in the headline rather than “New South Wales,” the reality is that many people outside of Australia don’t know the names of states in Australia, so I was trying to be practical. Yes, I recognize that Sydney as such doesn’t have its own rules.

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  1. Mh Gold

    "It sure seems to me like we’ll soon be at the point where it’s significantly easier to travel internationally than between states. You know the more conservative states are going to continue to keep their borders closed to New South Wales (with the high number of cases there), and I’m curious to see what eventually gives…"

    Probably not that long that the conservative states cave.

    Straight after NSW's announcement, the QLD Premier started tweeting...

    "It sure seems to me like we’ll soon be at the point where it’s significantly easier to travel internationally than between states. You know the more conservative states are going to continue to keep their borders closed to New South Wales (with the high number of cases there), and I’m curious to see what eventually gives…"

    Probably not that long that the conservative states cave.

    Straight after NSW's announcement, the QLD Premier started tweeting comparisons against Vic and NSW to try to make her state look better (as usual, only telling half the story, to try to make herself look better). She then dramatically ramped up vaccination campaigning, obviously worried about the heat she would feel by her state residents feeling worse off when more progressive states have more freedoms. Plus her economic woes would worsen as other residents then spent their holiday money overseas instead of her state, which is heavily tourism reliant.

    WA has been a bit slower to move, as it's less reliant on tourism, but it won't be a good look for them politically if their residents are more restricted than others, and they've already copped heat for their mismanagement in other areas, so won't want to increase that.

  2. SMR Guest

    "In the first instance it will be for Australian residents and their families".

    The Australian government needs to expand its definition of "families." As it stands right now, my parents (who are Australian citizens, living in Australia) do not qualify as "immediate family", but the fiance of an Australian citizen does...

    1. Mattew225 New Member

      This has been announced as being expanded to include parents.

  3. Morgan Gold

    As a Perth resident, I love WA and the way we have lived covid free up until now that being said I am ready to open up and I think McGowan needs to wake up and realise people want to travel and visit people again.

    PS while WA is no LA or Japan it is a very beautiful part of the world, and I am lucky to call it home.

  4. Daniel Guest

    While I like the idea of Australia opening up, I don't like how the Australian Police have been abusing, harassing, and provoking the people who just want to get back to normal. This is tyranny and totalitarianism & the Australian govt are guilty of abusing their power.

    1. platy Guest

      @ Daniel

      You are so confused and so out of your depth. The Australian Government is responsible for managing Commonwealth criminal law, which is facilitated through the AFP (Australian Federal Police) - so, apparently, not what you're ranting about like a petulant child with a broken toy.

      States have their respective legislation, for example, pertaining to lawful protest. State governments have invoked their respective health care acts to put (temporary) measures in place to control...

      @ Daniel

      You are so confused and so out of your depth. The Australian Government is responsible for managing Commonwealth criminal law, which is facilitated through the AFP (Australian Federal Police) - so, apparently, not what you're ranting about like a petulant child with a broken toy.

      States have their respective legislation, for example, pertaining to lawful protest. State governments have invoked their respective health care acts to put (temporary) measures in place to control COVID with the overwhelming support of their voters. Where folk act illegally the state police may act to restore law and order.

      The COVID measures are subject to legal challenge - a natural check and balance in the system, for example, so that such powers are not used unless defensible in the time of a health crisis.

      And no, those powers have not been abused - they have repeatedly been challenged in court and held up in every case.

      In other words your perceptions are misplaced. I suggest you direct your efforts to working out why so many died from COVID in other countries.

    2. Mattew225 New Member

      This hasn’t been happening at all. What’s more bizarre is the current “outrage” to support Australians who are currently having restrictions eased greatly.

  5. AA56 Guest

    Both of those locations are riddled with COVID while we remain COVID FREE in Western Australia. Feel free to travel to those dumps while we enjoy our blessed lifestyle in lovely Perth Western Australia. Condescending Americans are not allowed or welcome to enter.

    1. speedbird Guest

      "Condescending Americans" have no desire to visit your shitty prison island

    2. AA56 Guest

      You're not welcome to visit COVID FREE Western Australia. Our borders are firmly closed to residents of COVID riddled countries like the USA. I'm looking out my window thinking how blessed I am to call Perth my COVID FREE home

  6. AA56 Guest

    You have the gall to call us messy when the USA has over 744,000 dead and still counting. A recent poll in Western Australia found that 82% of residents want the borders to NSW, VIC and international arrivals firmly closed. Western Australia is COVID FREE and FREE of any restrictions. If Western Australia was a country we would have the second strongest economy in the world. We don't want condescending Americans telling us our policies...

    You have the gall to call us messy when the USA has over 744,000 dead and still counting. A recent poll in Western Australia found that 82% of residents want the borders to NSW, VIC and international arrivals firmly closed. Western Australia is COVID FREE and FREE of any restrictions. If Western Australia was a country we would have the second strongest economy in the world. We don't want condescending Americans telling us our policies are messy when their's are a nightmare. Mark McGowan for Australia's first President.

    1. Stanley Guest

      Lol. As if anyone was interested in visiting a boring place like Western Australia.
      Dude stop trying to drum up Western Australia as a region that millions sof travelers are looking forward to visit.

    2. AA56 Guest

      I'm not. We want the WA borders closed to protect our blessed lifestyle. You just want in but can't.

    3. platy Guest

      @ Stanley

      LOL...you wouldn't have time time to travel anyway, mate, you're still too busy trying to count all those poor sods that have tragically died of COVID and making up excuses for failed health policy and trying to persuade the vaccine hesitant to have their shots.

      WA has lost just 9 people to COVID and Queensland just 7 people. Both states have spent most of the pandemic lockdown free.

      We don't want the gorgeous...

      @ Stanley

      LOL...you wouldn't have time time to travel anyway, mate, you're still too busy trying to count all those poor sods that have tragically died of COVID and making up excuses for failed health policy and trying to persuade the vaccine hesitant to have their shots.

      WA has lost just 9 people to COVID and Queensland just 7 people. Both states have spent most of the pandemic lockdown free.

      We don't want the gorgeous sites of WA ruined by selfish marauding tourists anyway.

    4. Stanley Guest

      @platy @AA56. Once again, stop trying to hype up your boring state as a world class destination. Western Australia is NOT Japan or California. I don't know a single person in my pretty large network of frequent flyers, interested in flying to Australia. In fact, no one gives a Flying F.... about Western Australia being closed or not. It might hurt your little pride but this is a FACT

    5. AA56 Guest

      Both of those locations are riddled with COVID while we remain COVID FREE in Western Australia. Feel free to travel to those dumps while we enjoy our blessed lifestyle in lovely Perth Western Australia. Condescending Americans are not allowed or welcome to enter.

    6. Real Alpha Male Guest

      @Stanley Don't waste your time with these 2 pathetic weaklings. Only Beta males with ultra low self-esteem would have the audacity to:
      1 ) brag about not being allowed to travel abroad
      2) Prefer to live in a prison
      3) Live life without any risks

    7. AA56 Guest

      744,000 dead and still counting. You have alot to learn from how we have managed COVID in majestic COVID FREE Perth Western Australia.

    8. platy Guest

      @ Real Zeta Male

      LOL...strangely enough state health care policy in the various states of Australia is not determined by the size of your male appendage...I can but imagine - there you are trying to win an argument or present a work project plan but then someone challenges you poorly framed ideas, you have no answers, so you have nowhere to hide, no data, no rationale, no insight, so you do the obvious thing, you...

      @ Real Zeta Male

      LOL...strangely enough state health care policy in the various states of Australia is not determined by the size of your male appendage...I can but imagine - there you are trying to win an argument or present a work project plan but then someone challenges you poorly framed ideas, you have no answers, so you have nowhere to hide, no data, no rationale, no insight, so you do the obvious thing, you release your manhood to win the day in the hope that you have the larger dimension...priceless...I can't stop laughing because although I cannot comment on the size of your John Thomas I can celebrate the minuscule frame of your cerebral cortex...tha ks for the laughs, buddy

    9. AA56 Guest

      @ platy.

      Gold. Thanks mate. Delighted to know that you love Western Australia as much as me. We're utterly blessed to live here.

    10. platy Guest

      @AA56

      Respect from QLD for what you guys have achieved.

      Just remember some of these yanks have turkey features so long they need their own brain like one of those giant dinosaurs, such as Australotitan ccoperensis.

      They wouldn't know the difference between a Leeuwinn Estate Art Series Chardy and a Lewin's Honeyeater, a Quokka and a Little Creatures, a White Pointer and a KKK wizard hat, a smoko and smokehouse, an arvo and an...

      @AA56

      Respect from QLD for what you guys have achieved.

      Just remember some of these yanks have turkey features so long they need their own brain like one of those giant dinosaurs, such as Australotitan ccoperensis.

      They wouldn't know the difference between a Leeuwinn Estate Art Series Chardy and a Lewin's Honeyeater, a Quokka and a Little Creatures, a White Pointer and a KKK wizard hat, a smoko and smokehouse, an arvo and an avo and an evoo, a donga and a conga, a dugong from a dugout, a sheila from a cuckoo shrike, an oyster steak from oyster sauce, an Ultra-Class Liebherr T 282 C dumptruck from a bush dunnie.

      If you said that's a catch for third man they'd think they were about to score a chick.

      If you said Kalbarri, they'd go and call Bazza.

      They think they've been to Marble Bar but they never made it out of the basement watering hole in the Hilton in Sydney.

      They've never heard of Augustus Rock, they think never never means you're a virgin, and if you mention Broome they'll go fetch a brush.

      Americans. Despite all of this, we love them anyway, right?

    11. AA56 Guest

      @platy.
      LOL. I hope Queensland's opening on 17th December goes to plan.
      Of course we love Americans, as long as they don't spread fake news about Australia.

    12. platy Guest

      @ Stanley

      LOL...well then everyone is happy - you and your FF mates can go to somewhere you find more appealing than WA and be happy in your narrow minded ignorance, and the people of WA can celebrate their world class efforts in defeating COVID whilst losing just 9 people to the virus, their restriction free existence and their world beating COVID economy with the certainty of being highly successful at their task.

    13. Daniel Guest

      @Stanley you are so funny. You can keep your banal cities and unremarkable country free of tourists, bc most people don't want to go there. You realize how crazy your Australian govt has become, being an orwelian state, abusing and harassing citizens, taking away their constitutional rights and freedoms. But I see, you're okay with that. Just listen and follow their orders like a good German soldier, oops, I mean like a good "Australian" soldier.

    14. platy Guest

      @ Daniel

      You might be well advised not to make unfortunate comments about Germany (as well as Australia). I have been there several times and the people were wonderful and certainly not deserving of your racist insults.

    15. Azamaraal Guest

      As a Canadian who has visited Australia several times and circumnavigated it by road (26,000 km) I have to disagree with Stanley.

      Western Australia is a wonderful place to visit and I would return in a moment if allowed to do so.

    16. Daniel Guest

      Yes, you may have low Covid cases, but you sure as hell don't have freedom. Please don't be crying or begging the U.S. to help you when your fantastic Australian Federal Government starts stripping away more of your rights & freedoms. Yes, that day is coming soon.

    17. AA56 Guest

      We are so free living in Perth Western Australia. Who needs to travel when we live here. ScoMo and Mark McGowan are legendary and it will be you begging Australia to let you in when the USA implodes.

    18. EK25 Guest

      Yes, please stay in Australia, and don't bother other people in other countries with your attitude. Thank you.

    19. AA56 Guest

      I'll travel again when it is safe to do so. Until then I will enjoy my blessed lifestyle in lovely Perth Western Australia. You just want in but can't.

    20. platy Guest

      @ Daniel

      No rights and freedoms have been stripped away. COVID measures adopted fall under the aegis of the existing respective state legislation. These can only be invoked at times of health crisis. In some states (such as QLD) the powers reside with the Chief Health / Medical Officers. Once vaccination targets are treated such measures will not be compelling, the legal framework kicks in, the measures are relaxed.

      The federal Australian Government isn't a...

      @ Daniel

      No rights and freedoms have been stripped away. COVID measures adopted fall under the aegis of the existing respective state legislation. These can only be invoked at times of health crisis. In some states (such as QLD) the powers reside with the Chief Health / Medical Officers. Once vaccination targets are treated such measures will not be compelling, the legal framework kicks in, the measures are relaxed.

      The federal Australian Government isn't a player in health care (it's a state legal responsibility). The feds can make decision based on commonwealth law - for example, per Biosecurity provisions.

      Whether the Constitutional rights of Australians have been breached has been tested in the courts - so far the legal adjudication has been, no, they have not.

      Our judges are in a better position to make such decisions than an offshore commentator with very scant knowledge of the Australian situation, legal system, or constitution, or some sensationalist American right wing media outlet.

      In other words, you're spouting utter nonsense.

  7. platy Guest

    @ Joe Chivas

    Yes, absolutely, Australia has been very lucky to learn from the example of the USA during the COVID pandemic. We have been swilling mouthfuls of bleach, refusing to wear masks, refusing to get vaccinated, even if we have had our shots then refusing to accept the need for booster shots, and protecting our rights to individual freedoms whilst others in our community die in their 100,000s.

  8. echino Gold

    "The more conservative states are going to continue to keep their borders closed to New South Wales"

    You mean "liberal"?

    1. Mike C Gold

      No, he means conservative, although not in the political sense (this is not a political issue), but in the sense of being cautious and preserving the status quo. All Australian states, left and right, have been conservative throughout the pandemic (more so than the federal government wanted). It worked until it didn't, and NSW and soon the ACT and Victoria, are where that approach stopped working first.

    2. platy Guest

      ...but continues to work in QLD, NT, WA, SA and TAS...

  9. Tom Guest

    This is a pretty good summary of the situation. I think the current mess will be quite short lived though and probably mostly resolved within a few months.

    Victoria (the second largest state) now has a similar reopening strategy so Melbourne will likely be opened up within a few weeks of Sydney in November. The other states will surely follow - with vaccination rates now tracking towards 90-95% it’s only a matter of time....

    This is a pretty good summary of the situation. I think the current mess will be quite short lived though and probably mostly resolved within a few months.

    Victoria (the second largest state) now has a similar reopening strategy so Melbourne will likely be opened up within a few weeks of Sydney in November. The other states will surely follow - with vaccination rates now tracking towards 90-95% it’s only a matter of time. Perth is the possible exception but I’d be shocked if the whole eastern seaboard isn’t open to vaccinated travellers including tourists by January.

    The other interesting thing is where Australians can now go. Contrary to assumptions last year, the US and Europe now seem the easiest to get to while closer destinations like NZ and Japan might be closed for longer.

  10. East2West Guest

    Lockdowns do actually work. But they aren’t sustainable for years and years. Governments need a long term mitigation strategy not more lockdowns.

    1. platy Guest

      @ East2West

      ...which is exactly intended course of action...;)

  11. Kiwi Gold

    Of course in typical Australian politics fashion this is a new premier after the last one was turfed out/resigned following the announcement of an ICAC(Independent Commission Against Corruption) inquiry. Let’s see who lasts long this new premier or the PM, both are fairly unpopular at the moment

  12. Ryan Guest

    Constitutional flaws from 120 years ago to keep the then independent colonies happy plus the erosion of state taxation rights has led to a massive impasse now in light of the pandemic. Australian states control their own health systems, but the national government controls borders and general taxation.
    From the inside (in Sydney at least) it’s nowhere near as messy as it is interpreted elsewhere - COVID became endemic pretty much a year after...

    Constitutional flaws from 120 years ago to keep the then independent colonies happy plus the erosion of state taxation rights has led to a massive impasse now in light of the pandemic. Australian states control their own health systems, but the national government controls borders and general taxation.
    From the inside (in Sydney at least) it’s nowhere near as messy as it is interpreted elsewhere - COVID became endemic pretty much a year after the rest of the world, and after a lacklustre performance by the national government in getting vaccines to a population that is keen to be vaccinated, things have settled for now and 91.4% of adults in NSW (Sydney’s state) have had a first vaccine dose (77% fully vaccinated and rising). Deaths on a worldwide scale are low, and we had a pretty normal year between mid2020 and mid2021. We had a 3 month lockdown after this, which was stricter in the socioeconomically disadvantaged parts of the city (which was very controversial) but elsewhere you could still go to Bunnings (our Home Depot) or shop at the supermarket and go out for exercise.
    But now we are getting used to the feeling everyone else had 6-12 months ago, that we are vaccinated against a virus which isn’t going to go away, and now it’s time to see our families and friends overseas. Other states have not had the endemic experience yet, but Victoria and ACT are coming on the journey with us, and the rest of Australia will come too in the next 6-12 months as we navigate the new normal a bit later than the rest of the world.

    1. platy Guest

      @ Ryan

      Nice summary - love your work.

  13. Me Guest

    Have to mind my words…

    Intimately familiar with the various challenges (mess) in Australia. The country lacks a singular voice and policy, given the different powers of the federal v. state/territory governments.

    Can’t say the US is much better, but at least there’s a clearer delineation of power here.

    As an American, it makes me very sad for AU, the country that I truly love, and that I’ve been associated with for the last 17 years.

    1. John.S Guest

      Thank you for looking down on us. Once you've removed the need for security in schools, then you can call us a mess. Until then, stay away.

    2. AG Guest

      Predictably pointless whataboutery! How does that post qualify as "looking down"? Grow a skin!

    3. platy Guest

      FWIW I interpret @Me's comments to be well intentioned.

  14. Mike C Gold

    Long story short, there is consensus among health experts that the relaxation of restrictions in the states with outbreaks will result in an increase in cases and hospitalisations and that maintaining strict lock downs will not stop spread of the virus. There is a similar but less widely shared consensus that opening the international border will not have a material effect on the level of disease that internal easing of restrictions will cause. Hence the...

    Long story short, there is consensus among health experts that the relaxation of restrictions in the states with outbreaks will result in an increase in cases and hospitalisations and that maintaining strict lock downs will not stop spread of the virus. There is a similar but less widely shared consensus that opening the international border will not have a material effect on the level of disease that internal easing of restrictions will cause. Hence the premier's announcement today. States like Queensland and WA will go their own way and stay closed to outsiders.

    Essentially today's announcements were 'These are the new NSW rules' and 'These are the federal T&C'. The PM was unhappy, but earlier in the week the states and territories were unhappy when the PM announced the timing for the opening of international borders without consulting them, when they would have to manage it on the ground. So, sort of payback

  15. Peter Guest

    In late December, just as vaccine rollout was underway, I booked an October 2021 trip to Japan and Southeast Asia. I’d be in Bali today.

    Wondering if it’s best to just avoid the Pacific for at least the first half of 2022.

  16. Santastico Guest

    Stupid politicians. A country that will definitely not see my money.

    1. JDee New Member

      Great, we don't need you or your money, so thanks for never coming

  17. Bill Guest

    ….closed since March 2020 and soon it will be March 2022. Either we have been lied to and foreign tourism is not even a factor in generating income for places like Southeast Asia, Europe and the like, or we will soon start seeing places like Bali turn into the next Sudan one by one. Until the only requirements for foreign travel are just proof of vaccination and nothing else (no pre-travel PCR test, no VTL...

    ….closed since March 2020 and soon it will be March 2022. Either we have been lied to and foreign tourism is not even a factor in generating income for places like Southeast Asia, Europe and the like, or we will soon start seeing places like Bali turn into the next Sudan one by one. Until the only requirements for foreign travel are just proof of vaccination and nothing else (no pre-travel PCR test, no VTL on a specific airline from a specific country at a specific time, no proof of travel insurance etc etc etc) then my days of foreign travel are now officially OVER. Glad I did it all in my 3rd-5th decades of life because this just isn’t life anymore. Can u imagine traveling with a fully vaccinated family of 4 on a 3 week European getaway only to have one single member of your party assymptomatically test positive for COVID 24 hrs before your last leg? Good luck getting back home to your job & schools. I’m done.

    1. Mike C Gold

      Pre-travel negative PCR test will be required.

    2. Bill Guest

      If that’s the case…and it may very well be for all future travel…. then there had better be approved COVID PCR testing stations as common as Starbucks located within all major airports throughout the world.

    3. TyL New Member

      Why do you think proof of travel insurance is unnecessary? These are even required by European countries for visa applications in pre-COVID times. They just need to make sure you won't end up in hospital, get a huge bill and then fly back to your home country before paying off everything.

  18. James Guest

    AU will soon realize that lockdowns don't work and neither will the vaccine when it comes to preventing the spread of cases. An explosion of cases coming in 3....2.....

  19. David Guest

    It’s increasingly clear that Australia has no plans. They like to use the word “plan”, but they have no idea what that entails.

    1. Hutch Guest

      @James - a broad statement with minimal factual evidence in support. But thanks.

      Who exactly is saying they will stop cases... 1...0

      @David - I have plans for tomorrow, they may change though... guess I have no plans.

    2. David Diamond

      Planning entails figuring out a goal, and how you get there. Clearly the Australian government does not actually have a goal.

      First they committed to COVID zero, so hard lockdowns for Australia (which is fine, because there was no vaccine and not everyone wants to follow the footsteps of the US, which was a colossal failure in handling the pandemic). But then they pretend like they could just lockdown forever and pray away the COVID...

      Planning entails figuring out a goal, and how you get there. Clearly the Australian government does not actually have a goal.

      First they committed to COVID zero, so hard lockdowns for Australia (which is fine, because there was no vaccine and not everyone wants to follow the footsteps of the US, which was a colossal failure in handling the pandemic). But then they pretend like they could just lockdown forever and pray away the COVID eventually, and didn't bother vaccinating the population. Eventually they realized delta was a thing, and people do eventually get lockdown fatigue, so COVID spreads and now they need to start vaccinating. Then all the premiers started deciding on their own what to do, and the PM goes off to do his own thing as well, so now we've got a bunch of Aussies all running in their own direction. Sorry, but that doesn't sound like a plan, it just sounds like people reacting with no exit strategy in mind.

    3. platy Guest

      @ David

      Compelling ideas, but devoid of fact.

      "Australia" never had a zero COVID policy, rather one of suppression.

      Nobody in Australia has "pretended" they could lock down forever.

      The vaccination program predated the arrival of the Delta VOC in the country (although Delta certainly encouraged folk to get vaccinated), although took time to take off compared with other OECD countries..

      The PM doesn't get to decide on health policy - that's because the federal...

      @ David

      Compelling ideas, but devoid of fact.

      "Australia" never had a zero COVID policy, rather one of suppression.

      Nobody in Australia has "pretended" they could lock down forever.

      The vaccination program predated the arrival of the Delta VOC in the country (although Delta certainly encouraged folk to get vaccinated), although took time to take off compared with other OECD countries..

      The PM doesn't get to decide on health policy - that's because the federal government has limited powers to control the pandemic (e.g. international border control and biosecurity) - health matters reside with state governments and their respective health care legislation.

      All of the states have sought to control COVID pending high vaccination rates.

      The PM is desperate to win the next election and currently behind in the polls - you can expect some politicking and hubris.

      If you strip out the inevitable politics, you'll find that the states have been following broadly similar health policies.

      There is a national plan - policy is triggered by vaccination rate thresholds - but vaccination rates vary significantly from state to state - timing will inevitably differ from state to state.

      Your apology is accepted (assuming your are excusing your ignorance on these matters).

    4. David Diamond

      Australia never had a zero COVID policy? https://www.economist.com/asia/2021/08/28/australia-is-ending-its-zero-covid-strategy
      https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/08/opinion/australia-covid-delta.html
      I can add more, but I guess these are all fake news? It's interesting you tout your opinion as fact with little source to back it up.

    5. platy Guest

      @ David

      It's great that you provide some links.

      Please refer to OMAT article from 1 October 2021 "Australia Opening Borders, Freeing Citizens". You will find my extensive post on Australia's COVID policy with numerous references to back up the statements made.

      In fact, I am usually the only person in the blog commentary to offer any supporting references - so arguably you are singling out the wrong person to "tout opinion as fact...

      @ David

      It's great that you provide some links.

      Please refer to OMAT article from 1 October 2021 "Australia Opening Borders, Freeing Citizens". You will find my extensive post on Australia's COVID policy with numerous references to back up the statements made.

      In fact, I am usually the only person in the blog commentary to offer any supporting references - so arguably you are singling out the wrong person to "tout opinion as fact with little source to back it up" - (I just can't be bothered to do it over and over again when the same stupid myths get recycled on these blogs when I've already presented the facts with references in an earlier article on this very blog).

      Unfortunately both your links are firewalled - so I can only read a tiny bit of each.

      The Economist article makes the following claim:

      "...Since the start of the pandemic Australia has used an approach dubbed “covid zero”, stamping on outbreaks down to the last case, whatever it takes..."

      This is simply untrue and easily discounted. At the start of the pandemic The Australian Government's policy was suppression of the outbreak to "flatten the curve". This was repeated as a mantra, it appeared on TV ads, it was unambiguously the goal.

      David, the problem is that if someone writes an article and makes an a priori statement which is easily disproved, how much credibility are you going to place in the rest of that article? It becomes an opinion piece with questionable factual credentials.

      Now I can't read the NY Times article, but I can see it is tagged as "opinion".

      Here are some references on the matter of suppression / flattening the curve.

      https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/flattening-the-curve-to-help-australia-s-hospitals-prepare

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-27/coronavirus-options-to-end-lockdown-explained/12090270

      https://theconversation.com/how-much-has-australia-really-flattened-the-curve-of-coronavirus-until-we-keep-better-records-we-dont-know-136252

      A detailed summary of the overarching COVID strategy is provided by the following government website:

      https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/COVID-19/COVID19/Interim_Report/section?id=committees%2Freportsen%2F024513%2F73414

      You can interpret this as you will. But suffice to say your original statement "first they committed to COVID zero" is incorrect, as I called out in my reply to you. I consider the government's own enquiry into the matter to be a compelling reference.

      Your claims that Australia has no goal / no plan, whatever, is so childishly ignorant that it hardly merits a response.

      But for the record:

      https://www.pm.gov.au/sites/default/files/media/national-plan-to-transition-australias-national-covid-19-response-30-july-2021.pdf

      The plan is informed by scientific models, captured in the Doherty Report:

      https://www.doherty.edu.au/uploads/content_doc/DohertyModelling_NationalPlan_and_Addendum_20210810.pdf

      This includes predicted increased cases and mortality - nobody is expecting to avoid such. In fact some other models predict substantial cases loads and mortality:

      https://www.scimex.org/newsfeed/expert-reaction-modelling-predicts-80-adult-covid-19-vaccination-wont-be-enough

      The plan depends upon vaccination targets being attained:

      https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/professional/national-cabinet-agrees-in-principle-to-pathway-to

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-30/national-cabinet-update-covid19-support-vaccine-targets/100338334

      The final decisions on relaxation of local restrictions rest with the state premiers / governments reflecting that health care falls under their scope of governance (the federal government controls international borders, biosecurity, etc).

      They will keep a close eye on lessons learned from other countries with high vaccination rates / relaxation of restrictions:

      https://www.sbs.com.au/news/what-happened-to-other-countries-that-opened-up-after-hitting-their-vaccine-targets/fbe582af-4294-4af2-94d2-557a22058a52

      Vaccination rates differ from state to state:

      https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/numbers-statistics

      Therefore it will inevitably be the case that different states will relax restrictions at different times.

      Incidentally vaccination rates are very promising - in excess of 90% for first doses for the over 16s.

      Since the state of NSW has reached the vaccinations targets, they will relax restrictions before VIC. Other state premiers will have the luxury of watching what happens and adapting their own policy if necessary.

      We are agreed that nobody would want to follow in the footsteps of the US, but it is worth remembering that Australian COVID deaths strand at 1,448, or nearly FORTY times less than the US per capita. My home state of QLD has lost 7 people out a population of 5 million. In other words, ONE THOUSAND times less than the USA. In my home city we have had just 4 days of lockdown in the last 500 days.

      Now everyone in Australia knows cases and deaths will likely go up, depending on the effectiveness of the vaccines and the number of people vaccinated. It's just a question of by how much and two what extent control measures will be required to manage the case load within our medical resources.

    6. platy Guest

      @ David

      It's gonna be interesting when Australia ends up with one of the highest vaccination rates in then world, and one of the lowest COVID death rates in the world, opens its borders before certain other countries in the world and has an economy that has weathered the pandemic far better than anyone expected, with most of its population living without lockdowns (and most other restrictions) for most of the duration of the pandemic.

      ...

      @ David

      It's gonna be interesting when Australia ends up with one of the highest vaccination rates in then world, and one of the lowest COVID death rates in the world, opens its borders before certain other countries in the world and has an economy that has weathered the pandemic far better than anyone expected, with most of its population living without lockdowns (and most other restrictions) for most of the duration of the pandemic.

      Obviously achieved with absolutely NFI all the way through...choice!

  20. Down under Guest

    What and ‘effing mess. Perottet and ScoMo hate each other, despite being in the same party, and perottet rolled Scotty for his own ends. The announcement was announced and Scotty, after a week where the Murdoch press, the Queen and twiggy Forrest have publicly pantsed him on climate change, tried to reclaim the announcement by saying Australians and families first.

    At the end of the day, it’s moved things forward by a few weeks...

    What and ‘effing mess. Perottet and ScoMo hate each other, despite being in the same party, and perottet rolled Scotty for his own ends. The announcement was announced and Scotty, after a week where the Murdoch press, the Queen and twiggy Forrest have publicly pantsed him on climate change, tried to reclaim the announcement by saying Australians and families first.

    At the end of the day, it’s moved things forward by a few weeks and hopefully killed Scotty’s chance at the election, because once again he’s not leading, he’s being lead by the state premiers of NSW or VIC.

    At the end of the day those of us in Sydney and Melbourne will get to go to london before we get to go to Perth and that’s fine.

    1. platy Guest

      @ Down under

      An enjoyable summary. Thanks, mate.

  21. TM Gold

    Don't worry, the fear-mongering and misinformation from the QLD Premier will continue.

    For those of us living in the real world, this is great news. I travelled to NSW earlier this year under a critical skills exemption, and while I had a generally pleasant stay at my quarantine hotel, it's not exactly something I would look forward to doing again. I would like to see a system similar to the UK with a passenger located...

    Don't worry, the fear-mongering and misinformation from the QLD Premier will continue.

    For those of us living in the real world, this is great news. I travelled to NSW earlier this year under a critical skills exemption, and while I had a generally pleasant stay at my quarantine hotel, it's not exactly something I would look forward to doing again. I would like to see a system similar to the UK with a passenger located form filled out just before travel and a test within 2 days of arrival. If vaccination is required, even better.

    1. platy Guest

      @ TM

      The current article highlights the dysfunction between the Liberal (National) premier of NSW and the federal Liberal (National) PM.

      It is extraordinary that Dom didn't confer with Scotty on this issue.

      Incidentally, in Queensland, it's the QLD Chief Health Officer who gets to make health directives under the Public Heath Act 2005, once the emergency powers have been declared by the Minister for Health and Minster for Ambulance Services.

      Don't worry...

      @ TM

      The current article highlights the dysfunction between the Liberal (National) premier of NSW and the federal Liberal (National) PM.

      It is extraordinary that Dom didn't confer with Scotty on this issue.

      Incidentally, in Queensland, it's the QLD Chief Health Officer who gets to make health directives under the Public Heath Act 2005, once the emergency powers have been declared by the Minister for Health and Minster for Ambulance Services.

      Don't worry - the dysfunctional relationship between the NSW Premier and PM will no doubt continue and risk both of their election prospect s- something about political mutually assured destruction and too much arrogance and self importance derived from the both of them believing their respective gods have imbued them with divine purpose. Bless.

  22. Adrienne Guest

    Ben, I live in Sydney. I currently have flights booked to New York next year and feel very confident that I’ll get there. There’s no way I’d try to book a flight to Perth at present We live in interesting times !

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Real Alpha Male Guest

@Stanley Don't waste your time with these 2 pathetic weaklings. Only Beta males with ultra low self-esteem would have the audacity to: 1 ) brag about not being allowed to travel abroad 2) Prefer to live in a prison 3) Live life without any risks

2
Stanley Guest

@platy @AA56. Once again, stop trying to hype up your boring state as a world class destination. Western Australia is NOT Japan or California. I don't know a single person in my pretty large network of frequent flyers, interested in flying to Australia. In fact, no one gives a Flying F.... about Western Australia being closed or not. It might hurt your little pride but this is a FACT

2
Stanley Guest

Lol. As if anyone was interested in visiting a boring place like Western Australia. Dude stop trying to drum up Western Australia as a region that millions sof travelers are looking forward to visit.

2
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