Australia Will Reopen Its Borders to Overseas Visitors from February 21

Australia international border reopening

Welcome back, international tourists! After almost two years of Australia shutting its borders to overseas visitors, the government has announced fully vaccinated non-Australians will be once again allowed in from February 21, 2022.

Though the borders have been open since late 2021, only citizens, permanent residents and their families, and, later, international students, backpackers and migrant workers, were allowed to enter.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement this afternoon (February 7), hours after the government’s national security committee was briefed on the latest health advice. Morrison said the move would be a welcome boost for the tourism sector.

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“I know the tourism industry will be looking forward to that, and 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,” he told reporters in Canberra.

“The condition is you must be double vaccinated to come to Australia. That’s the rule. Everyone is expected to abide by it.”

As for unvaccinated travellers, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said they’ll need to apply for a travel exemption and will have to provide proof that they can’t be vaxxed for medical reasons. Even then, if they’re granted permission to enter the country, they’ll still need to undergo hotel quarantine.

In his Canberra speech, Morrison used the recent Novak Djokovic saga as a warning to unvaccinated travellers, saying, “Your visa is one thing but your entry into Australia requires you also to be double vaccinated. I think events earlier in the year should have sent a very clear message to everyone around the world that is the requirement to enter into Australia.”

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