| 3 October 2022, Monday |

Australia to reopen borders to tourists on February 21

Australia’s borders will reopen to fully vaccinated visitors on February 21, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Monday, putting an end to arguably of the world’s most stringent and long-standing pandemic travel restrictions.

“It’s almost two years since we made the decision to seal the borders to Australia,” Morrison said during a national security cabinet meeting.

“We look forward to welcome you back to Australia if you are doubly vaccinated.”

Australia’s borders will be closed in March 2020 to safeguard the island continent from a raging virus.

For the most part, Australians have been banned from leaving, and just a few tourists have been granted entry waivers.

The laws have shattered families, harmed the country’s burgeoning tourism economy, and sparked sometimes heated arguments over Australia’s standing as a modern, open, and outward-looking society.

Rules for Australians, long-term residents, and students have gradually been reduced.

Almost all remaining caps will be lifted as a result of the recent ruling.

It comes after the country’s long-standing “COVID-zero” policy was abandoned, and the once-impressive track-and-trace system crumbled under a flood of omicron cases.

  • AFP