The government of Australia announced on Wednesday that it will lift the international travel ban for its citizens, this means fully vaccinated Australian citizens will no longer have to seek an exemption to leave the country.
It must be noted that the country has opened its international border after more than 18 months of closure.
The announcement comes as the country’s adult double-dose vaccination rate edged closer to an 80 percent target.
Home Affairs minister Karen Andrews said that while Australian citizens were currently being prioritized, more travel restrictions — including for some non-citizens — would be eased as vaccination rates increased.
“Fully vaccinated Australians will not require an exemption to depart Australia from 1 November 2021. The easing of restrictions is possible thanks to our impressive national vaccination rates, and I thank all those who have done the right thing and rolled up their sleeve.” Karen Andrews Twitted
Fully vaccinated Australians will not require an exemption to depart Australia from 1 November 2021. The easing of restrictions is possible thanks to our impressive national vaccination rates, and I thank all those who have done the right thing and rolled up their sleeve.— Karen Andrews MP (@karenandrewsmp) October 26, 2021
“Before the end of the year, we anticipate welcoming fully vaccinated skilled workers and international students,” she said.
On March 20 last year Australia introduced some of the world’s toughest border restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
For almost 600 days, countless international flights have been grounded, and overseas travel has slowed to a trickle.
Families have been split across continents, tens of thousands of nationals were stranded overseas and foreign residents were stuck in the country unable to see friends or relatives.
Quarantine arrangements for returning vaccinated residents will depend on where they arrive in Australia.
While Sydney has scrapped quarantine for returning travelers, other Australian states with lower vaccination rates still have mandatory and costly 14-day hotel quarantine requirements.