Australia plans to reopen its borders for fully vaccinated travelers beginning February 21, 2022, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed.
“It’s almost two years since we took the decision to close the borders to Australia,” Morrison announced during a media briefing on February 7, 2022. “If you’re double vaccinated, we look forward to welcoming you back.”
However, unvaccinated people with a medical reason for not having the vaccine will need to apply for a visa with travel exemptions and will be required to quarantine in a hotel on arrival.
Australia began to gradually ease travel restrictions in late 2021. Australia’s flag-carrier Qantas resumed international operations in November 2021.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed the Australian government’s decision to reopen borders, saying that this is “the big step forward” for the airline community in the region.
“We urge other governments in the Asia Pacific to look at similarly further easing their border restrictions so as to enable aviation businesses to accelerate their much-needed recovery and to bring maximum benefits to their economies,” Philip Goh, IATA’s regional vice president for Asia Pacific, announced in a press statement.
Asia-Pacific has enforced strict border controls during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the relaxation of travel restrictions has been gaining momentum with Thailand and Philippines also opening up for fully vaccinated visitors.