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Featured Image Credit: Dominic Perrottet/Facebook
The New South Wales Premier is committing to his reopening plan despite rising concerns over the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Two passengers who landed in Sydney over the weekend have tested positive for the new strain and a third is awaiting their results in Darwin.
Thee variant has 32 mutations compared to the original virus and there are worries that it could be worse than the Delta strain, however studies are underway into just how bad it is.
It was first detected in Botswana and has since spread to several African countries, as well as Belgium, Israel, Australia, Hong Kong and the UK.
While The World Health Organization has already listed the Omicron variant one of 'concern', NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet is forging on with his state's reopening plan.
Restrictions will be lifted when NSW either hits 95 per cent vaccinated or December 15 and it will mean big things for both unvaccinated and vaccinated residents.
Premier Perrottet says they are sticking with that 'for now' because he doesn't want NSW to be a 'hermit kingdom on the other side of the world'.
"Ultimately, we not only need to learn to live alongside the virus, but live alongside the variants as well," he said on Sky News Australia.
"This pandemic is not over. These variants will continue, cases will continue to rise and the best thing we can do to keep the community safe, keep your family safe is to go out and get vaccinated and get that booster shot when you can.
"If you look at Delta...how quickly that come into countries around the world, the Prime Minister cancelled flights into here.
"The reality is these variants are highly transmissible and that means it is almost certain it will get into countries around the world. That is the reality of the situation.
"We can't look at the world as we want it to be, we need to look at the situation as it is."
NSW, Victoria and the ACT have all brought in a mandatory 72-hour quarantine for all international arrivals, regardless of vaccination status or where they flew in from.
On the federal level, non-Australian citizens who have been in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, The Seychelles, Malawi and Mozambique now can't enter Australia.
Aussie citizens and their dependents who have been in those southern African countries where the variant has been detected will have spend two weeks in quarantine when they come home.
If someone has recently returned from one of those nine areas then they have to immediately isolate for two weeks.