After keeping its border closed for 18 months now, Australia will finally permit entry for vaccinated travelers from other countries starting from next month.
The decision has been confirmed by the country’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a press conference, in which he stressed that the government has recently been finalizing details, and within weeks, parts of the country will move into the phase of reopening, VisaGuide.World reports.
“The time has come to give Australians their life back. We’re getting ready for that, and Australia will be ready for takeoff very soon,” Morrison has emphasized in this regard.
With over 102,720 COVID-19 infection cases and 1,278 deaths reported since the start of the pandemic, the country’s government has kept in place entry rules and other restrictions that often have been considered the strictest among all countries worldwide.
Such rules left many families separated while many nationals have been stranded overseas without being unable to visit their friends or relatives.
“States and territories will begin this program at different times given their varying vaccination rates, but we expect the system to commence in November Australian citizens and permanent residents who cannot be vaccinated – for example, if they are under 12 or have a medical condition – will be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of their travel,” Prime Minister pointed out in this regard.
The Prime Minister also stressed that territories would roll out a seven-day home quarantine for returning passengers who are fully immunized.
As for unvaccinated travelers, as well as those who have been immunized with a vaccine that is not recognized by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), they will not be permitted to enter the country.
However, the Prime Minister stressed that the country’s authorities would work towards completely quarantine-free travel for specific countries such as New Zealand when it is safe to make such a decision.
He added that the testing process is expected to continue to be a requirement for international travel, still subject to further medical advice, and antigen tests may be used.
Previously, VisaGuide.World reported that Australia could open its border to travellers from other countries by Christmas at the latest. Such a decision was announced by Australia’s Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment, Dan Tehan.
In addition, authorities in Australia recently announced that they are working on implementing a digital vaccination passport that would help Australian citizens travel to other countries, following the example of other countries worldwide.
The Liberal Party of Australia on September 13 stressed that the government chose Accenture to create the digital vaccination passport, known as the Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD).