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Australia VTL: Sydney and Melbourne scrap 72-hour self-isolation requirement

Good news for those heading to Australia for Christmas, with both New South Wales and Victoria dropping their 72 hours self-isolation requirement for fully vaccinated travellers from 21st December.

If you’re booked or planning a trip to Australia over the Christmas or New Year season, or even into 2022, there’s some good news with both New South Wales and Victoria states set to relax their arrival self-isolation requirements for fully vaccinated travellers.


From Tuesday 21st December 2021, arriving passengers will simply be required to take a PCR test within 24 hours of arrival (many options are free of charge, even for overseas visitors).

They will then be free to exit self-isolation and enjoy their visit once a negative result is received.

The announcement was made as part of a joint policy by the two state governments, designed to harmonise the rules for international travellers flying into both Sydney and Melbourne.

The Australian states of New South Wales (Sydney) and Victoria (Melbourne) both opened to fully vaccinated Singapore Citizens (note: not Permanent Residents or pass holders at this stage) on 21st November 2021, but imposed their 72-hour self-isolation rule on arrival just a week later, from 28th November 2021.

“International travelers and aircrew arriving in Sydney and Melbourne will no longer need to isolate for 72 hours, with New South Wales and Victoria agreeing to introduce consistent COVID-19 requirements for people arriving from overseas.”

New South Wales Government

For most people, that will mean being restricted to their home or hotel room only for around 12-24 hours (despite some stated test result turnaround times of up to 48 hours).

Currently, all fully vaccinated international arrivals in both New South Wales and Victoria have to get a test as soon as possible and isolate for 72 hours, regardless of when they receive their negative test result, so this new requirement from 21st December should cut the self-isolation time by around two-thirds.

Most travellers from Singapore on the VTL will