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COVID-19: Australia fully open to international arrivals today, Monday 21 February

COVID-19: Australia fully open to international arrivals today, Monday 21 February

After almost exactly 2 years, Australian borders (except WA) are open again from today 21 February, as long as you are fully (2 shot) vaccinate, and tested with a negative result prior to arrival.

Sydney or Bust!

Sydney will have the majority of the ‘deluge’ – I exaggerate – about the deluge but not about Sydney getting the majority.

There will be Qantas a380 flights from LA and services from Auckland, Johannesburg, London, Singapore, and Vancouver. Japan Airlines and ANA will be flying in from Tokyo. United, Delta and American from the USA and even the Gulf carriers, Emirates, Qatar and Etihad will arrive.

Savasi Island, Fiji 2022

Brisbane and Melbourne also international destinations

Sydney will be the hub for a moment, as it was pre-pandemic, but Brisbane and Melbourne will be getting their fair share on this first day of border opening for regular vaccinated tourists visiting Australia.

The Rest

Adelaide will be welcoming service from Singapore Airlines, while Perth will have to wait until 5 March when they will reopen their borders. There are services into Darwin, including Qantas flights from London that have a 90 minute stop before proceeding to Sydney.

Capacity limits – begone!

And of course, there will be no quarantine and no capacity limits on arrivals. Is this a good idea? Well, depending on who you believe – Yes, or we should have opened borders more gradually.

Sydney Airport

2PAXfly Takeout

I’m proud that Australian politicians had the fortitude to close our borders, despite the distress it caused to some of our citizens, residents and their friends and families. We have avoided the horrendous rates of death in other world centres like the USA, UK, Europe and parts of South America. The decision to keep the borders closed until a vaccine was available and until the majority of Australians are double vaxxed and boosted has been a literal lifesaver.

Opening our borders does have risks, but far less than a few months ago. The pandemic could change at any minute, if another stronger, more deadly strain emerges. But we are now used to change in reaction to the circumstances of the pandemic. So if we have to turn on a dime again and close our borders, I hope Australians and the world will understand.

For the moment this is the right decision, I think. And I say that from the beautiful weather and laid back environment of an island in the Fijian group. So no bias here.

Yes, I will have another Pina Colada.

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