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Australia Reopening Its Borders To Vaccinated Tourists On February 21st

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For the first time this pandemic, Australia is set to significantly ease its entry restrictions and reopen its borders to vaccinated tourists from February 21st. Australia has long since had some of the most restrictive borders in the world, coupled with extremely strict domestic Covid-19 restrictions as the country looked to keep its people safe from the virus. From February 21st, the country is set to turn over a new leaf and look towards tourism once more. 

In doing so, the country seems to be following in the footsteps of its neighbor, New Zealand – a similarly restrictive country who also announced they would be gradually easing their entry restrictions over the course of the year. Here’s a closer look at Australia’s exciting reopening announcement, including what the vaccination requirements are to enter and what has been said about quarantine so far.

Australia Opens Borders – Information For Travelers

Few countries can claim to have closed their borders to international travelers for quite as long as Australia has. The Land Down Under has had its borders closed to international travelers since the earliest days of the pandemic, in March 2020, and resisted the calls from citizens and travelers alike to soften their stance at various points throughout the past two year. From February 21st however, its borders are set to open for the first time in almost two years. 

Travelers are set to be able to enter without securing a travel exemption providing that they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. According the Australia’s Department of Home Affairs, this means travelers must have two doses at least 14 days apart of:

  • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
  • AstraZeneca Covishield
  • Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty
  • Moderna Spikevax or Takeda
  • Sinovac Coronavac
  • Bharat Biotech Covaxin
  • Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for people under 60 years of age on arrival in Australia)
  • Gamaleya Research Institute Sputnik V
  • Novavax/Biocelect Nuvaxovid

Travelers may also have just one dose of the Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine. Australia’s Prime Minister confirmed today that travelers will not need to have a booster vaccine. Inbound travelers will need to prove their vaccination status with an  International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC), or a foreign vaccination certificate that meets all of the requirements outlined on the Australian Passport Office website.

Delta Airlines plane over Sydney

Only unvaccinated travelers who cannot be vaccinated for medical purposes will be able to enter the country, and they will need to apply for a travel exemption. According to the Home Affairs Department's website, they will need to provide a medical certificate that clearly states this that they cannot take the vaccine, which must contain:

  • Traveler’s name (this must match your travel identification documents)
  • Date of medical consultation and details of your medical practitioner
  • Details that clearly outline the traveler has a medical condition which means they cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccination (vaccination is contraindicated)

If they are granted permission to enter, they must undergo a period in hotel quarantine before being allowed to freely travel. 

Speaking about quarantine and arrival caps for fully vaccinated arrivals, Prime Minister Morrison said: “The state-based cap arrangements on arrivals and the state-based quarantine arrangements will continue and it will be up to state governments to alter those, as they see fit, which has always been the case.” 

This means that incoming travelers may be subject to different restrictions depending on which state they land in. 

At present, the current testing requirements for Australia state that travelers must have a nucleic acid amplification (NAA) test, such as a PCR test, within 3 days before the day of the flight’s scheduled departure, or a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of the flight’s scheduled departure time. Travelers should note that current restrictions could be subject to change in advance of the country's February 21st reopening date. 

Read More:
Portugal Removes All Testing For Vaccinated Tourists
Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19 For 2022
New Zealand Reveals Its Plans To Reopen For Tourism To The World

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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.

Tom P.

Thursday 10th of February 2022

Great news!


Tuesday 8th of February 2022

Cool, now the world is really on its way back to normal as one of the strictest countries is opening up again....thanks to our anti vaxx friends it has taken longer than necessary. Will be on my way to down under soon to see my friends again....

Jody B

Monday 7th of February 2022

they can stick it up their arse. I will never spend my money in any country where unvaxxed are unwelcome. Politicians in Australia need to be locked up.