Following last week’s announcement by Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison that Australia would open borders “in the coming weeks”, it has now been decided that its borders will remain closed for non-nationals until at least 2022.
Since March 2020, the country has been off-limits as a holiday destination for foreign tourists and Australian nationals wishing to return to their home country from abroad had to undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine in a hotel at their own expense. This meant Australia had some of the strictest border controls in the world.
“Our compatriots have the priority for resuming international travel,” Morrison declared on national television. From November, and for the first time in a year and a half, Australians and those holding a residence permit will be allowed to leave the country, Belga News Agency reports.
Authorities have set an objective of 80% vaccination coverage before relaxing the tight travel restrictions. When returning to the country, quarantine measures remain in force although this can now be carried out at home rather than in a costly hotel.
Provided that the quarantine measures prove effective, “professional” migrants and students will then be permitted to travel to and from Australia. “They are another important priority and I expect that we will also welcome international visitors next year,” Morrison added.
The Brussels Times