Visa Crunch

Australian borders not to reopen for tourists until 2022

Indians who planned to visit Australia at the end of the year will have to wait some more. The country will not reopen to overseas tourists until next year, according to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Returning skilled migrants and students are currently the centre of attention.  The Australian Prime Minister has stated that the country would meet its immunization target on October 12. After that, the country would begin to reopen. He has already laid out measures to allow vaccinated citizens and permanent residents to go overseas beginning November. Citizens will be able to fly abroad for the first time since March 2020.

During his tenure, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated that the government will prioritize skilled migrants and international students seeking to join the country. After that, international tourists would arrive. Due to the sheer pandemic and global lockdowns and limitations, immigration to Australia is at its lowest level since World War II. Universities in Australia rely significantly on international students, and the pandemic has had a significant impact on them.

“The next priorities are skilled migrants who are highly vital for the country and are double vaccinated, as well as students who are coming and returning to Australia for their education,” PM Turnbull said.

PM Scott Morrison, on October 5, predicted that Australia would meet the vaccination threshold, at which point the country may begin to open, with 80 per cent of the population aged 16 and older receiving the second dose. He announced last week that beginning in November, vaccinated citizens and permanent residents will be able to fly overseas for the first time since a very strict travel ban went into force in March last year.

PM Morrison, however, stated on October 5 that after Australians, skilled migrants and overseas students will be the second priority, followed by tourists. The Australian Tourism Export Council, which represented a $33 billion-a-year industry before the outbreak, is hoping for overseas visitors to return by March next year.

As an outbreak of the more dangerous delta form, which began in Sydney in June, continues to spread, Australia is hurrying to inoculate its population. New South Wales has the highest vaccination percentage among the states, and Sydney’s airport will be the first to reopen and allow vaccinated tourists.

Australian tourist operators are angry that there aren’t more details on how leisure travel will restart, despite the fact that they’ve been hit hard not only by the international tourism ban but also by periodic domestic pandemic border restrictions. “International tourist arrivals must be factored into the plan,” said Daniel Gschwind, CEO of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, the state’s leading advocacy group. “Even if they aren’t the top priority, we’d like to know how this will be resolved.” Many businesses are simply clinging to life,” he added.

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