1. International travel
International travel to Australia will soon see a boost after its Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that fully vaccinated tourists are allowed to enter the country.
Morrison said that the border’s further reopening would bring a needed boost to the country’s travel industry: “I know the tourism industry will be looking forward to that, and over the next two weeks they’ll get the opportunity both for visitors to be coming and for them to be gearing up to welcome international visitors back to Australia.”.
“The National Security Committee and Cabinet has decided today that Australia will reopen our borders to all remaining visa holders on the 21 February,” Morrison added, speaking outside parliament in Canberra on 7 February.
Closed to most travelers since early 2020 and with a hardline approach towards the pandemic, Australia has been slowly easing its restrictions since November through travel programs with New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Japan.
The condition is you must be double vaccinated to come to Australia. That’s the rule. Everyone is expected to abide by it.Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia
2. Double jabbed
For the time being, Australian citizens, permanent residents and their families, along with international students, backpackers and migrant workers are allowed access to the country provided they show proof of having two doses of an approved vaccine.
With the latest developments, the same rule will apply to tourists, unless they qualify for a medical exemption. For those, they’ll need to apply for a travel exemption and, if successful, they’ll will be required to quarantine at a hotel.
“The condition is you must be double vaccinated to come to Australia. That’s the rule. Everyone is expected to abide by it,” Morrison emphasised, adding that state-based caps on quarantine will continue and that those caps will still be determined by state and territory governments.
Some exceptions had been made since last December, with international students and skilled migrants being allowed to enter in the country.
In January, the Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic was unable to compete in the Australian Open after the country’s authorities canceled his visa. At stake, was Djokovic’s vaccination status, which, despite being medically exempt from being vaccinated, did not prevent him from being deported.
As of 7 February, Australia confirmed more than 2,7 million cases of Covid-19, of which there were 4,200 deaths. Currently, about 80% of eligible adults in the country are fully vaccinated.