Australia to reopen borders for fully vaccinated travellers on February 21

After almost two years, fully vaccinated travellers can fly to Australia again.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor
Image: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the country's borders will reopen to fully vaccinated travellers from February 21.

Under current rules, only Australian citizens, permanent residents, their families, as well as people with certain visas and exemptions have been allowed to travel inbound into Australia.

"If you're double vaccinated, we look forward to welcoming you back to Australia and I know the tourism industry will be looking forward to that," Morrison said.

Unvaccinated travel into Australia is still not generally allowed unless a person has a travel exemption and proof for why they cannot be vaccinated under medical reasons.

The existing cap arrangements on arrivals and quarantine arrangements for the country's various states will continue to remain in place, Morrison added, with the decision for when those measures are removed to be made by state governments.

In providing that update, Morrison also alluded to the deportation of tennis star Novak Djokovic as a warning to unvaccinated travellers that do not follow Australia's travel rules.

"Your visa is one thing but your entry into Australia requires you also to be double vaccinated," Morrison said. "I think events earlier in the year should have sent a very clear message to everyone around the world that is the requirement to enter into Australia."

The border reopening will come almost two years since Australia closed its borders, on 20 March 2020, to all non-citizens and non-residents.

Fully vaccinated people living in Australia have been able to travel outbound internationally since November. The decision for outbound travel was made shortly after the federal government launched its QR-code based international digital vaccination certificate.

In the past 24 hours, Australia acquired 23,750 new COVID-19 cases. 

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