Australia Hints At When It Will Reopen To International Travelers

by SharonKurheg

When coronavirus began spreading around the world, Australia shut down. Not only could tourists no longer visit the land down under, but many Australians who were overseas also couldn’t even go home.

The country’s shutdown, although harsh, seems to have worked. Despite a population of 25.36 million (in 2019), they’ve had less than 35,000 cases since the pandemic began. To put that into perspective, Florida’s population is 21 million and has seen 2.59 million cases of COVID.

Anyway, Australia has been generally shut down since March, 2020, and travel has been limited to just a few hundred people allowed to arrive per day. There was a short-lived travel bubble with New Zealand, which the President of New Zealand shut down in July of this year, when Australia’s COVID cases began increasing.

However tourism is an important part of Australia’s economy, with roughly 9.4 million tourists visiting in 2019 alone. And that doesn’t even include Australians traveling throughout the country, which is also frequently not allowed at this time.

But how do you decide when to end lockdowns and reopen? Prime Minister Scott Morrison has a plan.

As per global news agency AFP, Morrison’s plan is:

  • When 70% of eligible adults have been fully vaccinated, vaccinated residents will be able to travel domestically and a limited number of international students and economic visa holders will also be allowed to enter the country.
  • When 80% of eligible adults have gotten the full dose of their COVID vaccines, Australians will be allowed to travel to safe countries overseas, and visitors from safe countries who have received one of the vaccines approved by Australian regulators will again be allowed to visit.

Right now, only about 14% of Australia’s population has been fully vaccinated, and just shy 1/3 of Australians have gotten 1 dose.

Morrison avoided setting a specific time frame for when travel could begin again. Instead, he suggested it would depend on when Australians choose to get vaccinated.

“The timelines are now in the hands of all Australians,” Morrison said. “Every single vaccine will take us closer to achieving each of these steps. As Australians, we have to take each step together. And that starts with walking in the door of that vaccine clinic.”

Morrison believes the country can reach his goals, “by the end of the year.”

Fingers crossed.

Feature Photo: Max Pixel

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Brian L. August 2, 2021 - 1:18 pm

Morrison believes the country can reach his goals, “by the end of the year.”

Which year is he referring to?

Mak August 2, 2021 - 2:13 pm

Is it relevant that Florida had 2.59 million “cases” when it had no more than 39,000 or so actual deaths with Covid, the vast majority of which were elderly or ill people who did not die “of” Covid and would likely have died from another cause in any case? The danger of Covid is greatly exaggerated here, and even more so now that most Floridians have been fully vaccinated.

Australia might have avoided all of these “cases,” but they have utterly decimated their nation and turned most of their citizens into perpetual prisoners in their homes, separated from their livelihoods and families under an authoritarian regime, and completely unable to leave or return to Australia.

Would anybody seriously prefer to be living in Australia than Florida over the past year?

SharonKurheg August 2, 2021 - 2:26 pm

As a Floridian, I would most definitely have preferred to have been a “perpetual prisoner” in Australia over the past 17 months – at least I would haven’t spent the better part of a year being scared I was going to die because I was living under first an inept president, and now a governor whose idol is said former president, who are more interested in their respective reputations and political futures than the health and well-being of their respective constituents. Meanwhile, all of us die of some cause or another. The fact that you’re willing to dismiss the unnecessary deaths of 39,000 grandparents, parents, children, friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., is alarming.


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