The Australian government has announced that the full re-opening of the country’s borders will take place on 21 February. They will be open to vaccinated tourists and other visa holders.
The country has had some of the strictest border controls through the last two years of the coronavirus pandemic. Australia’s staged international border re-opening commenced on 1 November 2021 and some international students and skilled migrants were allowed to enter the country at the end of last year.
The opening up pf the borders later this month will be welcomed by many, travellers, business people and visitors alike but the rules have been made clear by Prime Minister Scott Morrison though. Those entering the country must have proof of vaccination. It’s reported that any travellers who are unvaccinated due to medical reasons, must apply for a travel exemption and will be required to quarantine. It is thought that the changes will be welcomed by many sectors where recruitment and employment have been hampered by the Covid restrictions and of course for anyone wanting to visit with a view to moving to Australia.
The state of Western Australia is still rather different. They still have tight controls in place and it remains closed to non-residents and to those from other states, unless they have been granted permission to enter.
Meanwhile, neighbouring New Zealand has announced its plans during the last few days for a ‘five step plan to open to foreign travels by July of this year. Australia had taken the decision to reopen international borders when 80% of its population (aged16 and above) had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. It’s reported this week that in excess of 19 million people over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated, which actually accounts for 93.8% of the population. Of those, 9.2 million have received a booster shot.
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