“Australia will reopen to all fully vaccinated visa holders, welcoming the return of tourists, business travellers, and other visitors from 21 February,” Morrison announced.
Continuing, Morrison said: “These changes will ensure we protect the health of Australians, while we continue to secure our economic recovery.”
“Australia’s health system has demonstrated its resilience throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, including through the recent Omicron wave. With improving health conditions, including a recent 23 per cent decline in hospitalisations due to Covid, the National Security Committee of Cabinet today agreed Australia is ready to further progress the staged reopening of our international border.
Elaborating on this, Morrison said: “Visa holders who are not fully vaccinated will still require a valid travel exemption to enter Australia, and will be subject to state and territory quarantine requirements.”
“Today’s announcement will give certainty to our vital tourism industry, and allow them to start planning, hiring and preparing for our reopening. In 2018-19, tourism generated more than $60 billion for the Australian economy, with more than 660,000 jobs dependent on the industry,” shared Morrison.
Wendy Harch, Chief Commercial Officer, for Travel at 60, shared that this announcement is exciting for many reasons, saying:
“This announcement is big for Australian tourism. It will hopefully mean we will see a return of backpackers, which in turn, will assist tourism operators to open more hotels, more rooms and more destinations up for travellers.”
“Covid-19 has really impacted everything, particularly in regional areas.”
“With more international arrivals, airlines will open more domestic routes, which will open up more flight choice, and make it easier for the everyday Aussie to travel, as there will be more options. It’ll open everything up. More choice. More venues. More events.”
“However”, Wendy said, “as international travellers arrive from February 21, there will be more demand, so those wanting to travel in Australia will have to book earlier to avoid disappointment.”
“2022 inventory was already limited, and this announcement will make it more so, so make sure if you want to travel this year, that you move quickly,” Wendy said.