Australia will reopen its international border from November, giving long-awaited freedoms to vaccinated citizens and their relatives.
Since March 2020, Australia has had some of the world’s strictest border rules – even banning its own people from leaving the country.
People would be eligible to travel when their state’s vaccination rate hit 80 per cent, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a press briefing on today. He said, it is time to give Australians their lives back. Travel would not immediately be open to foreigners, but the government said, it was working towards welcoming tourists back to our shores.
At present, people can leave Australia only for exceptional reasons such as essential work or visiting a dying relative. Entry is permitted for citizens and others with exemptions, but there are tight caps on arrival numbers. This has left tens of thousands stranded overseas.
Mr Morrison said, Australia’s mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine – which costs each traveller 3,000 dollars- would be phased out. It will be replaced by seven days of home quarantine for vaccinated travellers. When unvaccinated travellers are later given permission to enter, they must do 14 days.
Demand for flights is expected to be high and airlines have already warned of delays in resuming services. Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra are currently in lockdown due to outbreaks of the virus.