International tourists could be back in Australia as early as Easter 2022.
Speaking with 4CA radio in Cairns, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that he hopes the country would be open to international tourists before Easter of 2022.
While Morrison has a positive outlook, he was also careful not to confirm a specific date.
“Well I can’t give you a specific date yet … and that’s because we’re just watching how Omicron is sort of washing over the eastern states,” he said.
“I’d like to see us get there soon — certainly before Easter, well before Easter.”
“We’ve just got to get some medical advice further on that, a bit more work to do with the states to make sure we’re comfortable about (reopening),” Morrison added.
The announcement was made on January 31, 2022, just a couple of days after the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry urged the National Cabinet and the Federal Government to make reopening the international border a priority.
“The tourism sector was one of the first to feel the huge costs of COVID-19. The international border has been closed to tourist markets for 678 days and counting,” John Hart, Executive Chair of Australian Chamber – Tourism said in a statement.
“As a matter of priority, the federal government must expedite the reopening of our international borders to all fully vaccinated travelers, a move that will provide the tourism industry with confidence to resume their operations.”
Under current restrictions, only Australian citizens and permanent residents, their families, and those with certain visas and exemptions are allowed to enter the country.