Australia’s borders will reopen to fully vaccinated travellers on February 21, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, lifting arguably the world’s tightest and longest-standing COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions.
“It’s almost two years since we took the decision to close the borders to Australia;” Morrison said during a media briefing on Monday.
“If you’re double vaccinated, we look forward to welcoming you back to Australia.”
Australia shut its borders in March 2020 to protect itself against a surging COVID-19 pandemic.
Since then, Australians have been prevented from leaving; for the most part, and just a few visitors have been granted entry exemptions.
The laws have shattered families, harmed Australia’s burgeoning tourism economy, and sparked heated discussions about the country’s reputation as a modern, open, and outward-looking society.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said it “greatly welcomed” the move.
Many industries, including foreign education; will be relieved by the reopening on February 21.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic; Australia has had some of the tightest border controls in the world.
The government closed the borders in March 2020.
To counteract COVID, it prohibited most foreigners from entering the nation and capped total immigration.
Since December, some overseas students and skilled migrants have been allowed to enter the country.