Fines for breaching Covid rules are DOUBLED in Australia as Omicron variant threatens to cancel Christmas for millions

Tougher penalties breaching quarantine have come into effect in NSW after state and territory leaders agreed to avoid Omicron lockdowns while more information is gathered.

All international travellers entering NSW and Victoria will need to isolate for 72 hours and take a COVID-19 test.

A second test must be taken on day six after arriving in NSW, and between days five and seven in Victoria even after leaving quarantine.

NSW has increased its fines to $5000 for those who fail to comply with quarantine or testing requirements, up from $1000. The fine for corporations breaching requirements has been doubled to $10,000.

New South Wales has increased fines for those who breach Covid rules

New South Wales has increased fines for those who breach Covid rules 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison used the national cabinet meeting on Tuesday to discuss the variant and urged state and territory leaders to stick to their reopening plans, despite Omicron raising anxieties.

Early data presented to the meeting showed Omicron may be more transmissible when compared with previous variants.

But there is insufficient evidence that vaccines and treatments are less effective against it and no evidence at this stage that Omicron causes more severe disease, leaders were told.

Australia will continue its path towards a Christmas reopening while Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly gathers more information about the new strain over the next fortnight. 

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