Australia has enforced heavy travel restrictions since closing its border in early 2020. Soon, those restrictions will loosen for a wide variety of visitors.
Starting Dec. 1, many travelers who were previously kept out will be able to enjoy exemption-free trips to the country.
Australia will welcome fully-vaccinated skilled workers and international students. Additionally, fully-vaccinated individuals with humanitarian visas, family visas, or working holiday visas will be allowed entrance.
Numerous sectors of the nation’s economy once benefited from Australia’s temporary migration program, and those sectors have suffered since lockdowns started. Replacing skilled visitors with enough native Australians has not been feasible.
Australia hasn’t been exempt from the coronavirus’s drastic effects on the global economy. Allowing entrance to skilled visitors will give the nation’s floundering economy the kick-start it needs.
Before the recent policy change announcement, Australia already allowed fully-vaccinated Singaporeans — including tourists — to skip quarantine upon entering the country. The nation will now extend the travel bubble to include Japanese and South Korean visitors.
Before entering Australia, visitors from the travel bubble will still have to present negative COVID-19 test results.
The country’s shedding of travel restrictions is possible partly because of Australia’s extraordinary vaccination rate. Eighty-five percent of the nation’s citizens above 16 are fully vaccinated, and 91.5% have received a single dose.
Despite loosening travel restrictions for many visa classes, questions remain about when all tourists will have permission to enter the country. Scott Morrison, Australian prime minister, said it depends on how December’s eased restrictions fare.
Despite Australia’s superlative vaccination rate, COVID-19 cases have been climbing since early August. The increase is likely related to lessening restrictions within the country itself.
However, a variety of industry groups and concerned citizens have pressured the government to fully reopen. Current steps, while not satisfactory to everyone, show leaders’ willingness to move forward.