The Australian government announced on Monday that it will reopen its borders to tourists who have been vaccinated later this month.
For the first time since March 2020, travelers from any place in the globe who have received a full dosage of an approved coronavirus vaccine will be permitted to enter Australia beginning on February 21.
Visitors must show proof of a negative quick antigen test or polymerase chain reaction test performed within 24 hours of their departure in order to be admitted.
According to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, “If you have had two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, we look forward to welcoming you back to Australia.”
According to Tourist Research Australia, international and domestic tourism losses have totaled an estimated $72 billion since the start of the pandemic. As a result of the decision to reopen the borders, the travel sector expressed gratitude.
Expenditures on international travel decreased from around $31 billion in the 2018-19 fiscal year to an expected $920 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Peter Shelley, managing director of the Australian Tourism Export Council, told Reuters that the tourism business has been “on its knees” for the past two years since the borders were closed in December 2015. “Now we can focus our joint efforts on reviving an industry that has fallen into disarray.”
While Margy Osmond, CEO of the Tourism and Transport Forum, expressed delight at the lifting of COVID-related limitations, she noted that the government and travel businesses “require coordination to ensure Australia is competitive as a destination.”
Osmond told Reuters that “it’s not as simple as just turning on the tap and seeing the numbers of overseas tourists return to where they were pre-COVID.”
According to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, the airline industry has already begun preparing for the resumption of international travel, with the carrier announcing that it was “looking at flight schedules to determine ways to restart flights from more international locations soon.”