Tourists and visa holders inoculated with at least two doses of vaccine will finally be allowed to enter Australia starting February 21, as the government announced today. The borders down under have been strictly closed since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, almost two years ago.
As reported by CNN Travel, “The National Security Committee and Cabinet have decided today that Australia will reopen our borders to all remaining visa holders on February 21,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison, speaking to reporters outside parliament in Canberra.
“The condition is you must be double vaccinated to come to Australia,” added Morrison. “That’s the rule. Everyone is expected to abide by it,” emphasizing that state-based caps on quarantine will continue, as determined by state and territory governments.
Australia’s strict entry policies were put in the spotlight again recently when the unvaccinated tennis player Novak Djokovic, ranked as world no. 1, was denied entry and participation in the Australian Open.
The news will undoubtedly be welcomed Australia’s billion-dollar tourism sector, which saw an almost 12% tumble in jobs last year, as Fortune reported. Since the announcement a few hours ago, shares in the national carrier Qantas Airways Ltd. climbed as much as 6%, while travel company Corporate Travel Management Ltd. rose as much as 8%.