TRAVEL NEWS – May 07, 2021: The international borders of Australië have been largely closed since March 2020, and the country is believed to have done an excellent job of minimizing coronavirus cases and deaths. Now the big question is when Australia plans to reopen international travel. There's an update on that front, and it's one that most people probably won't like. Australia will remain closed until mid-2022, a major blow to the ailing tourism sector in the country.
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Australia's new timeline for admitting visitors
Australia's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Simon Birmingham, has shared an update on the reopening of the borders in Australia. With the government's latest plan, Australia does not intend to reopen its borders by the end of 2021, but rather to reopen its borders in mid-2022 at the earliest.
As Birmingham explains:
"We recognize that if Australians want to stay safe and be protected, mutations remain a risk factor as well as the length of vaccine life and effectiveness. These are all considerations that mean we won't be opening borders with ease early next year."
He claims that there is even more uncertainty due to coronavirus variants than a few months ago.
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It's worth mentioning, of course, that Australia isn't completely closed to foreigners, and the country is aiming for 'travel bubbles'. There is already such a bubble in between Australië en New Zealand and there are discussions about launching even more countries to add to this.
Vaccinated Australians may be able to travel earlier
While Australia's borders won't open to most foreigners anytime soon, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is pushing for a plan to allow vaccinated Australians to travel abroad and avoid mandatory quarantine upon return. Medical experts have been asked “urgently” how this can be done.
While the priority is to vaccinate vulnerable Australians, allowing Australians to travel abroad is one of the next important goals. As he explained:
"This is what I've instructed the medical experts to ensure that we can know when an Australian here has been vaccinated with their two doses, is able to travel abroad and return without going through hotel quarantine.
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