Australia will fully reopen her borders to all vaccinated visa holders from February 21, after almost two years of restricted entry since March 2020.
Although the country has put in a place a staggered border reopening since late last year to allow skilled immigrants and international students to enter the country, as well as quarantine-free travel arrangements with select countries like New Zealand and Singapore, all remaining restrictions will finally be lifted come February 21.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers will still require an exemption and be subject to the relevant state and territory quarantine requirements.
With this announcement, internationally-focused Australian tourism businesses can breathe a sigh of relief and rebuild their markets.
Australian Tourism Export Council’s managing director Peter Shelley said that this positive news is a “clear target to work towards” to start to rebuild the once-burgeoning industry.
“With close to two years with our borders closed, our industry has lost tens of billions of dollars in export revenue and we welcome the border reopening as an opportunity to regain some of Australia’s tourism market share,” he said.
He believes that there is a “significant pent-up demand” as Australia has been off the global destination list for nearly two years now.
“But the challenge for our industry is to meet this demand successfully and that will involve tourism businesses rebuilding their lost capacity, product, service skills and supply chains.
“Given the tourism industry has taken a devastating hit to its skills base, experience, expertise and global sales networks, we urge the government to outline a significant funding commitment to our industry in next month’s budget as a sign of its support for what has been a hugely valuable economic contributor for more than a decade.”