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Australia On Track To Reopen For Tourism By Christmas At Latest

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Australia has some of the world's strictest travel restrictions, banning all foreign tourists and not allowing citizens to leave for non-essential reasons since the pandemic began. But after almost two years of closed borders, Australia says they will reopen by Christmas at the latest.

This post will look at the latest statement from Australia's tourism minister and what travelers can expect when the country reopens for tourism.

Australia On Track To Reopen By Christmas At Latest

Australia's Tourism Minister Says They Will Open By Christmas At Latest

Australia's minister for trade, tourism, and investments said today that the country is on track to reopen by Christmas at the latest.

“I do empathize with the Australians who have been denied the opportunity to travel overseas this year,” Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said during a talk that the National Press Club of Australia organized.

australia coastline

“It's another reason why everyone should get vaccinated and we have to stick to the national plan that will see our international border open up — at this rate by Christmas at the latest.”

Australia's border restrictions were recently extended until December 17, but this statement is a positive sign that might be the last extension – with the assumption vaccination rates continue to increase at their current rate.

Amazing aerial image of the Western Australian coastline.

Vaccination Rates Need To Hit 80%

Australia's prime minister has previously said that the country won't reopen until 80% of its population has been vaccinated, so this is a key metric that needs to happen before reopening.

“It's incredibly important that we're doing that preparatory work,” said Tehan while laying out some of the tasks that will need to happen to get the country on the road to reopening.

As of September 22, about 38% of Australians had received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

surfers in water australia

Rates have been steadily increasing since the country launched a vaccination campaign last month targeted at Australia who miss travel.

“We need to claim back our way of life so that we can visit friends and relatives, get back into the workplace, get our kids back to school, travel domestically and internationally again, and welcome the world back to enjoy all that Australia has to offer,” Phillipa Harrison, managing director of Tourism Australia said in a press statement when the campaign debuted.

What Can Travelers Expect When Australia Reopens?

Australia Will Use Vaccine Passports

digital vaccine passport

Australia is currently trialing vaccine passports. The initial rollout is for diplomatic missions overseas before they are available for the general public.

Countries earmarked to be part of the vaccine passport’s first destinations include Singapore, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the US, and neighboring Pacific Islands.

At Home Quarantine Program Launched

Australia's expensive hotel quarantine program has prevented many residents from returning home, but now the option to quarantine at home is becoming widely available.

new south wales bridge by sea

New South Wales and South Australia are piloting programs to allow vaccinated travelers to quarantine at home, which has recently expanded to include international arrival.

It is not yet clear if all travelers will need to quarantine when the country reopens or what options will be available.

Many International Flights Resuming

Qantas, the country’s national carrier, announced last month that they are preparing to start international flights as early as December with countries that have high vaccine rates. The company said that passengers will need to be vaccinated to board the flights.

Qantas airplane

Virgin Australia, the second-largest airline behind Qantas, has also called for international flights to and from Australia to be able to resume by Christmas, as well as making Covid-19 vaccines for their staff mandatory. 

Air Canada recently announced that they will be resuming their Sydney-Vancouver flight route four times a week, with the first flight taking off on December 17.


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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Jannelle Stein

Friday 24th of September 2021

The big question with home quarantine is .

if you live in a regional area and not in the city or state which a person arrives at , will people be permitted to travel to their homes ?

Or if they arrive in another state from their permanent address , how can they home quarantine.

Or if a person arrives back in Australia and has no home to go to , then what. For us who have been stranded overseas for many months , a few more possibilities should be suggested.

For example , I normally live in northern NSW, but will fly into Melbourne because that’s where we left our car 20 months ago and it’s where my kids live. Obviously I can’t home quarantine, what are the options? It’s makes it very difficult to know what the right booking to make and if we want to come back in late December we must book the flight now. More clarity for us stranded people would be excellent.


Thursday 23rd of September 2021

Once the rate of vaccinated has reached 80% there will be no more lockdowns - Zero Covid was their strategy as long as there was no individual protection, ie vaccine, available. When a majority of the population is vaccinated Covid will turn into a normal sickness like others not putting the health system in danger to collapse.


Thursday 23rd of September 2021

Why would anyone want to go to that police state where you get assaulted by police for walking on the street? Unless you enjoy a baton on your back or pepper spray on your face, there are are better destinations to consider.

Vinny the Adventurer

Thursday 23rd of September 2021

Australia and Antarctica are the last continents I haven’t been to. I don’t really wanna risk going to Australia and being locked down from leaving just because someone sneezed in the wrong direction.


Thursday 23rd of September 2021

Umm at this point you couldn’t pay most people to set foot in Prisonstralia. The nature is gorgeous but the country itself has become an authoritarian nightmare. They have been holding their own population prisoner for 2 years and I seriously doubt they really plan to reopen.