On the 7th of February 2022, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison released a statement to the media announcing his plans to re-open the Australian borders to all fully vaccinated international tourists, business travellers and other visitors. The borders will open on the 21st of February 2022.
Individual state and territory quarantine rules can continue to be enforced according to each jurisdiction. However, Western Australia is currently the only state that has maintained quarantine requirements for international travellers, WA Premier Mark McGowan, has announced he is maintaining a two-week quarantine requirement.
In an interview with reporters Mr Morrison stated he was “Welcoming the world back. I think that’s another important milestone that Australia is achieving.”
Note: Non fully vaccinated visa holders will still need a valid travel exemption to enter Australia and will be subject to all state and territory quarantine requirements.
Pictured: Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, © Mick Tsikas/EPA, Via Shutterstock
Before the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent border closures (2018-19 budget year) the tourism industry generated Australia an annual revenue of $60.8 billion in direct tourism gross domestic product (GDP) and created 600,000 job opportunities. The Morrison government hopes the re-opening of Australia’s borders will assist in securing economic recovery. Morrison claims his announcement of the changes to border restrictions will re-assure and allow the tourism industry to start preparing.
Previous changes to the Australian borders beginning on the 1st of November 2021 have seen an estimated 580,000 arrivals in Australia, allowing fully vaccinated international students, working holidaymaker visa holders and skilled migrants visa holders to “re-unite with loved ones, work or study” Mr Morrison stated.
Australian’s health and safety
Mr Morrison assures the changes will continue to protect the health and safety of the Australian public. Stating the Health Ministers have indicated Australia has started to recover from COVID-19 and has passed the peak in the Omicron variant. He reports an ease on health care workers, as they are seeing a decrease in hospitalisations related to COVID-19 and an overall relieving of pressure on the critical health care sectors.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also announced that the National Security Cabinet met on the 7th of February 2022 and have agreed Australia is “ready to further progress the staged reopening of our international border”.
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