Australia will reopen to vaccinated international travelers this month

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(CNN) – Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Monday, 7 February, that it will open its borders to fully immunized international travelers from the end of February following a meeting of the government’s national security committee.

“The National Security Committee and Cabinet have decided today that Australia will reopen our borders to all remaining visa holders on February 21,” Morrison said, speaking outside the country. association in Canberra.

Australia, which has been closed to most tourists since early 2020, has gradually eased restrictions since November through travel programs with New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

Currently, citizens, permanent residents and their families, along with international students, backpackers and migrant workers are allowed to enter the country although they must show proof of received two doses of the approved vaccine.

The same rule will apply to travelers, unless they qualify for a medical exemption.

“The condition is that you have to be vaccinated twice to come to Australia. That’s the rule. Everyone has to follow that,” said Morrison, adding that the state’s mandated quarantine limits would continue and that exponent will still be determined by the state. and territorial governments.

In January, world No 1 Novak Djokovic had his visa canceled amid controversy over his vaccination-exempt status. He was eventually expelled and could not compete in the Australian Open.

“Your visa is one thing, but entering Australia requires that you also have two vaccinations and I think the New Year events should have sent a very clear message. I think of everyone out there. world that it is a mandatory condition for entry to Australia,” said Morrison.

The Prime Minister added that the further reopening of the border would give a much-needed boost to the country’s tourism industry.

“I know the tourism industry is going to look forward to that and in the next two weeks they will have an opportunity for both incoming visitors and they are set to welcome international visitors back to Australia,” he said.

As of February 7, Australia has confirmed 2,727,260 cases of coronavirus, including 4,200 deaths.

Last year, Tourism Australia, the national tourism and hospitality authority, released an advertising campaign entitled “It’s our best shot for traveling“in newspapers, on TV, online and on social media.

The campaign encourages Australians to get a Covid vaccine to expand their national borders and be able to travel again.

Currently, about 80% of eligible adults in the country are fully immunized.

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