NSW welcomes Kiwi quarantine-free arrivals

Travellers from New Zealand have touched down in NSW on the opening day of a one-way quarantine-free pathway into the state. 

The three flights scheduled to land on Friday mark the first time in about seven months international passengers arriving in Australia have not needed to enter mandatory isolation. 

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said those coming from New Zealand would be kept separate from other international arrivals at Sydney Airport. 

“We welcome our Kiwi friends coming in, but we’re doing it in a very COVID-safe way,” he said. 

People arriving from New Zealand are being screened for symptoms in both countries and are only allowed in to NSW if they have spent at least two weeks in NZ first. 

Mr Hazzard said the agreement struck the right balance between allowing tourism and keeping people safe.

NSW recorded five new coronavirus cases on Friday, one of them locally acquired and linked to the Lakemba cluster in southwest Sydney which has now grown to 16. 

The four others were people in mandatory hotel quarantine. 

A child and worker at the Great Beginnings childcare centre at Oran Park tested positive overnight, with their cases to be included in Saturday’s figures.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said anyone who has been at the childcare centre in southwest Sydney should immediately isolate. 

It was revealed earlier this week an infected person had been to the centre four times. 

“We may be upgrading the advice for some of the casual contacts at that childcare centre,” Dr Chant said.

Dr Chant said anyone who attended the A2Z Medical Centre in Lakemba between September 25 and October 2 should get tested. 

Anyone who was at the centre from October 3-10 should also get tested, isolate and monitor symptoms, she added. 

Restrictions around outdoor venues were eased on Friday, with up to 500 people now allowed to attend open-air concerts, as long as they stay seated and remain four metres apart.

Limits on outdoor dining venues have also been relaxed, allowing one patron per two square metres, as long as venues use an electronic QR code to record patrons’ contact details.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said an announcement around further easing of restrictions may be made next week, depending on how case numbers go over the weekend.

There were almost 16,400 tests completed in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday, up about 600 from the day prior. 

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