Australia will reopen its borders to fully vaccinated tourists from February 21, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Monday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said borders will reopen to double-vaccinated visa holders from February 21 as COVID-19 cases and ICU admissions continue to decline.
Tourists and visa holders that have been vaccinated at least twice will be allowed to enter the country from Feb. 21, the government announced Monday. Australia’s borders have been almost entirely closed since after the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, with only citizens able to return. Morrison said that the condition is you must be double vaccinated to come to Australia.
Australia imposed some of the world’s toughest travel restrictions on its citizens and permanent residents in March 2020 to prevent them from bringing COVID-19 home.
When the border restrictions were relaxed in November in response to an increasing vaccination rate among the Australian population, international students and skilled migrants were prioritized over tourists in being welcomed back to Australia.
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said visitors who could provide proof of a medical reason why they could not be vaccinated could apply for a travel exemption.
"Those programs have proceeded very successfully - whether it was the programs we had in place with New Zealand or Singapore, and then with Japan and South Korea, opening up to international students and backpackers and economic migrants who are coming to Australia, that will now be extended to international visitors who will be able to return," Mr Morrison said.