Visa Crunch

Australia set reopen international borders for all travelers beginning November, says PM Scott Morrison

The international border is set to reopen next month for states that have achieved an 80 percent vaccination rate, beginning with New South Wales, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Until the state’s home quarantine trial is successful, fully vaccinated Australians and permanent residents traveling in NSW will be able to quarantine at home for a week instead of paying thousands to quarantine at a hotel for a fortnight. Vaccinated Australians will be able to fly commercially out of Australia again. When it is safe to do so, Mr. Morrison said the government will examine allowing quarantine-free travel between specific nations, such as New Zealand.

“We’ve saved lives; now it’s time to give Australians their life back. We’ve saved lives, but now we need to work together to ensure that Australians can restore the lives they once had here.” Unless they are under the age of 12 or are medically exempt, all travelers must be completely vaccinated with an approved vaccination before returning home. When deciding whether an arriving international traveler has been adequately vaccinated, the Therapeutic Goods Administration has indicated that the Chinese-made Sinovac and Indian-made Covishield vaccinations will be deemed “recognized vaccines.”

International students intending to study in Australia will benefit greatly from the acknowledgment of those immunizations. In Australia, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and the Janssen vaccine are already well-known. Once 80 percent of people over the age of 16 in South Australia are completely vaccinated, the state will be allowed to establish home quarantine for vaccinated immigrants. As other states reopen, Mr. Morrison said the government would provide more assistance if they agreed to apply home quarantine. Unvaccinated travelers will have to stay in a hotel for a fortnight. “To maximize the number of Australians who can return, our government is also offering facilitated flights into any state or territory that agrees to commence seven-day home quarantine trials for returning Australians,” Mr. Morrison said in a statement.

The government will indeed work with provinces to abolish vaccination-related travel restrictions. COVID-19 testing will likely remain a feature of travel, but the government is considering employing quick antigen testing as part of the deal. Mr. Morrison also hinted that the government would likely expand its Smartraveller travel warning system to include countries with substantial COVID outbreaks. He stated that, unlike the United Kingdom, the government will not create a red-light, green-light’ system of authorized and prohibited countries.

Prior to the originally scheduled restoration of commercial travel in mid-December, international airlines already have declared many destinations to which they will fly flights. Routes to the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Singapore, Canada, and Fiji have been identified as some of the initial destinations.

In March 2020, the international border was closed in reaction to the spreading outbreak of COVID-19.

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