COVID-19: Australia opens international borders from February 21 for 2 x vaccinated travellers
Scovid, our Prime Minister, or Scott Morrison as he is usually titled has announced after a meeting of the National Security Committee of Cabinet, the opening of Australia’s international borders to double vaccinated international travellers.
Since December 2021, international students and family members of permanent residents and citizens have been allowed to enter/return to the country, so this is just a further broadening of eligibility. Great news for the tourism industry that relies on international travellers:
“Over the next two weeks they’ll get the opportunity both for visitors to be coming and for them to be gearing up to welcome international visitors back to Australia.”Scott Morriosn, Prime Minister of Australia
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All visitors will have to provide evidence of their double vaccination status, so don’t try a Novak Djokovic if you are unvaccinated, because it won’t end well for you. You could find yourself deported or at the very least subject to quarantine by state governments if you fit within their capacity limits.
“Visa holders who are not fully vaccinated will still require a travel exemption to enter into Australia, and they will still be subject to the relevant state and territory quarantine requirements.”Scott Morriosn, Prime Minister of Australia
All international arrivals to Australia have to show a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding their flight, but both PCR and rapid antigen tests are now permitted. A PCR test must be performed within 72 hours of a flight’s scheduled departure, or a rapid antigen test within 24 hours.
These will remain in place, so international arrivals will need to obey any COVID-19 related rules like mask-wearing and capacity limits.
What will happen with Western Australia will be interesting. WA currently bans most travellers from interstate and overseas, and presumable they will want that to remain the case despite this opening of the international borders in 2 weeks.
I suspect we might be up for an interesting constitutional battle over who controls international and state borders because as to stands, our federal government will say ‘come on in’ and our state governments will be saying either “not at all” if you are Western Australia or “only in keeping with our capacity limits” in other states.
Maybe I should just hold my breath until more detail is announced.