After two years of closure, Australia is finally lifting restrictions on international tourism but arrivals will need to be double vaccinated to gain entry. Jenny Southan reports
From February 21, 2022, Australia will be opening its borders to visitors once again – proving that Globetrender’s prediction that “Country Reopenings” would the number-one travel trend in 2022 was correct. (You can download our 2022 Travel Trend Forecast here.)
Until now, Australia has had some of the world’s strictest border controls throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, barring most foreigners from entering and forcing arrivals into state quarantine facilities. It has even banned its own citizens from leaving the country.
Now Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said in a statement: “If you’re double vaccinated, we look forward to welcoming you back.”
Unjabbed travellers who have a medical reason for not being vaccinated will still need to apply for a travel exemption and, if successful, will be required to quarantine at a hotel.
Some international students and skilled migrants have been permitted to enter the country since last December but the reopening of the country to tourism is what we have all been waiting for.
However, the state of Western Australia, which covers the entire western third of the country, still has strict measures in place. Non-residents can’t enter unless they have special permission.
Following the new of the country reopening, Emirates has announced it is increasing services to meet market demand. From March 1 there will be a second daily flight on the Sydney-Dubai route, served by an A380 superjumbo.
So far Australia has reported more than 2.7 million cases of Covid-19 and more than 4,240 Covid-related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Almost 80 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated.
New Zealand is taking a slightly more cautious approach to reopening, with plans to let in tourists from July 2022.