At last! We can share great news from Australia. After 2 years of closed borders and harsh restrictions, Australia is reopening its borders to tourists coming from overseas.
Premier Scott Morrison announced it during his press conference yesterday. “If you are double vaccinated, we look forward to welcoming you back”.
A sudden announcement which sounds amazing to us, as well as to all travellers looking to come down here. In the same way tourism and hospitality industries can finally rejoice, after two years spent in hardship due to restrictions and multiple lockdowns.
THE COVID PANDEMIC IN AUSTRALIA
From the very beginning in March 2020, Australia decided to shut its borders to all foreigners and to reduce arrivals to its own citizens who were out of the country, even blocking them from travelling abroad, introducing expensive mandatory 14-day quarantine and a cap to limit weekly arrivals in order to contain the epidemic.
After several lockdowns (as many as 7 in total, among which the infamous 112-day-long lockdown in Melbourne), 2021 ended with some positive signs. A small number of flights were reactivated to allow international students and skilled workers back in. However the new Omicron variant slowed procedures down again, and threatened to compromise the path towards the complete reopening.
But today came the news we have been waiting for months. From 21st February 2022 anyone with a valid tourist visa, regardless of their nationality or flight origin, will be free to enter Australia without quarantine. The only condition to respect will be providing proof of double vaccination against Covid-19. Non-vaxxed will have to apply for an exemption and if approved will undergo 14 days of quarantine upon arrival.
BACK TOWARDS NORMALITY
These are the new rules set by the Government, now it’s up to each Australian federal state to implement them. Some like Victoria and New South Wales may still use a cap on arrivals for the first few weeks, whereas Western Australia, the state with the hardest restrictions during the pandemic, insists with its rigid policy of pursuing the target of zero cases. Currently they are registering only a dozen new cases per day, and its borders remain shut even to residents of other Australian states, with a 7-day quarantine in place.
What does this mean to us? We will finally be able to travel outside Australia again, after 2 years of trying and exploring this incredible country as much as we could among one lockdown and the next.
We end here with an invitation for those who have been waiting so long. Australia is reopening its borders, are you ready to visit the land Down Under?
Below here are some links to our articles about the destinations we loved the most during these years in Australia.
What to do and see in Melbourne
Two weeks camping in Tasmania
Road-trip along the east coast of Australia
See you soon Down Under!
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