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Australia will reopen international borders from February 21; reopening to reinvigorate the struggling tourism industry

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Australia will reopen international borders from February 21 reopening to reinvigorate the struggling tourism industry

After very nearly two years, Australia will reopen its international borders and welcome back fully vaccinated tourists from February 21. The reopening of Australia’s international borders has been proclaimed as an open door to re-invigorate the country’s striving tourism and aviation sectors.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said boundaries will reopen to double-vaccinated visa holders from February 21 as COVID-19 cases and ICU admissions keep on declining. He made the declaration on Monday only hours after the government’s national security committee was advised on the latest health advice.

“This is the exciting announcement the aviation sector has been waiting for,” Australian Airports Association (AAA) Chief Executive James Goodwin said.

“International travel is only at 15 percent of pre-COVID levels so this is a positive step to help the recovery of the aviation and tourism sectors.”

Mr. Goodwin noted domestic routes would likewise get a fundamental lift from the return of international travellers.

“International tourists don’t just visit one Australian city,” he said.

While the international borders have been opened since late 2021, entry has just been allowed for citizens, permanent residents, and their families, with it later extended to international students, backpackers, and migrant laborers.

Mr. Morrison said the move would be a welcome lift to the tourism sector which had experienced a downturn because of the virus and the loss of foreign guests.

“I know the tourism industry will be looking forward to that,” he told reporters in Canberra.

“The condition is you must be double vaccinated to come to Australia. That’s the rule. Everyone is expected to abide by it.”

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said visa holders who are not fully vaccinated will in any case require an exception and be dependent upon the applicable state and territory quarantine prerequisites.

Fully vaccinated

While health authorities are discussing whether to change the domestic definition of fully vaccinated to incorporate having had a promoter shot, Mr. Morrison said two doses would be enough for international travellers to show up.

The prime minister said the definition would not be changed for tourists to enter the country.

“We’ve been very careful looking at the impact, particularly when Omicron hit, and how that would flow through,” he said.

“But the fact is here in Australia, the variant is here, and for those who are coming in who are double vaccinated they don’t present any greater risk than those who are already here in Australia.”

Health specialists have previously demonstrated Australia’s virus circumstance was improving, with Omicron cases the country plateauing.

Mr. Morrison said the decision to reopen borders to tourists was reasonable, with intensive care cases in hospitals declining across the country.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said hospitalizations from the virus were down 27% since the peak of the Omicron wave.

ICU admissions were additionally somewhere near 35%, while the number of patients on ventilators is somewhere near 40%.

Ms. Andrews is tipping a tourism boom for the hammered sector, just about two years after Australia shut its international borders.

Since November, when border limitations initially started to release for travel from a few countries, 300,000 individuals have visited Australia.

Yet, the tourism operators have been shouting out for international big-spenders.

In the year 2018-19, tourism created more than $60 billion for the Australian economy.
State-based flight caps on international arrivals and quarantine arrangements plans are set to proceed.

Around 660,000 individuals are working in the tourism industry in Australia.

The government shut the international border to everybody except for Australian residents and occupants in March 2020 in the midst of what was then the arising Covid pandemic.

It was an exceptional move forward from the travel bans that had been set up for anybody from China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea trying to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia.

The government has gradually started to reopen to specific countries and individuals, first with the New Zealand travel bubble and most recently permitting tourists from Japan and South Korea, alongside some visa holders, back into Australia.

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