COVID-19 reopening: All the changes taking effect from November 1st
Life after COVID-19 restrictions is fast becoming a reality for many states and territories, with a multitude of changes taking effect today, November 1.
As vaccine rates rise and daily case numbers fall, several state governments have chosen November 1 as a key milestone on which to relax restrictions.
From international borders reopening to booster shots, here’s everything we know about the changes occurring from today:
LIVE UPDATES: NSW records multi-month low daily number of COVID-19 cases
International borders reopen to fly out
From today, Australian citizens and permanent residents aged 12 and over who are considered fully vaccinated will be able to leave Australia without needing an outwards travel exemption.
This means citizens and families can fly out from Australia to visit their relatives overseas, dependent on the entry conditions of their chosen destination.
A person is only considered “fully vaccinated” seven days after their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Entry to Australia remains strictly controlled and is currently only open to citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members of citizens or permanent residents, some New Zealand citizens, diplomats and some people with specific visas.
READ MORE: Cheers as quarantine-free Qantas flight lands in Sydney
COVID-19 vaccine booster shots roll out
From today, COVID-19 vaccine booster shots will now be available at state-run clinics in Western Australia and New South Wales.
In Western Australia, any eligible adult who had received their second vaccine dose more than six months ago can walk into a state clinic and receive a booster today.
In New South Wales the same rules apply.
READ MORE: Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot gets TGA approval. What now?
The booster shot is made by Pfizer, and it does not matter what vaccine a person received for their first two doses.
A booster shot is currently encouraged but has not yet been mandated by workplaces.
READ MORE: NSW Premier flags early removal of final restrictions
COVID-19 home testing kits hit the shelves
From today Australians can now buy do-it-yourself COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits after they were approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
The kits will be available at pharmacies and most supermarkets, excluding Western Australia and South Australia pending regulatory approval.
The kits cost up to $30 a result is delivered within 15 minutes. If a person tests positive via a rapid antigen kit at home, they must attend a proper testing facility to confirm.
READ MORE: Everything you need to know about rapid antigen COVID-19 tests
Regional travel within NSW opens up
From today residents in Greater Sydney can travel to NSW regional areas and vice versa, with all travel restrictions dropped.
Some restrictions on holiday homes, short-term accommodation, and leaving your local government area remain.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you can only use a holiday home or short-term accommodation with people who are from your household.
Those who are not fully vaccinated are not allowed to take a holiday or undertake recreation outside the local government area you live in.
READ MORE: ‘Don’t go interstate’: NSW Premier in regional tourism push
ACT residents given green light to travel to NSW and Victoria
From today the ACT government has lifted the “COVID Affected Area” restrictions, meaning residents can travel to and from NSW and Victoria.
But some restrictions do remain.
The ACT government has a list of “high risk geographical areas” in both states that if visited, a fully vaccinated person must complete an online exemption form.
A full list of these areas and the current rules can be seen here.
READ MORE: Victoria records 1471 cases, four deaths
Quarantine-free international travel in NSW
From today, fully vaccinated travellers who arrive in NSW will no longer need to quarantine in a hotel or at home.
They will need to show proof they’ve received a TGA-approved vaccine, and undertake a PCR test for COVID-19 before they board their flight.
Despite the removal on quarantine for incoming visitors, they are still strong caps on who can fly to NSW from overseas.
Interstate borders (excluding the ACT) remain closed to NSW residents.