Officials in the province of New South Wales said on Sunday that two travelers who arrived in Sydney from South Africa were Australia’s first cases of the new form. Both were fully vaccinated and have not shown signs of infection and are living in isolation in Sydney.
The provincial government said two more cases were confirmed in Sydney on Monday. They had arrived in Australia’s most populous province on Sunday on a flight from South Africa.
Officials said a South African man who arrived in the Australian city of Darwin last Thursday from Johannesburg has also been confirmed to be infected with the Omicron form.
Australia’s government decided on Monday that a plan to ease restrictions on the border from Wednesday would be postponed until December 15.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison had announced to allow vaccinated students and skilled workers to come to Sydney and Melbourne airports without being in isolation.
“The number of cases in itself is not an issue,” he said on Monday. It’s about whether people are getting seriously ill or whether it’s going to burden your hospitals.
At the same time, it has been decided to keep all people coming from abroad in New South Wales and Victoria and the capital Canberra in isolation for 72 hours.