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Australia Won’t Welcome International Tourists Until 2022

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Australia won’t welcome international tourists into the country in 2021 despite plans to reopen the border before the end of the year. 

The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, declared that the government will prioritize foreign workers and students before tourists. “We will get to international visitors as well, I believe next year,” Morrison stated. 

Sydney, AU

Many tourists had hoped that Australia would reopen for tourism before Christmas after the government stated Australia was on track to reopen by Christmas. Scott Morrison said, “It’s time to give Australians their lives back” in a recent press conference. 

Scott Morrison stated that Australians will be able to travel once their states’ vaccination rate reaches 80 percent. The Australian government has been criticized for its slow vaccination rollout compared to its Western allies. 

Ayres Rock

The Tourism Minister, Dan Tehan said, “I do empathize with the Australians who have been denied the opportunity to travel overseas this year.”

“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.”

Since March 2020, Australia has endured some of the strictest border controls worldwide. As the government pursued a zero-COVID strategy, the borders closed for all non-citizens or permanent residents. 

Whitehaven Beach at Whitsunday Island Queensland

Australian citizens had to undergo mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense, and airline companies drastically reduced their flights into Australia. As a result, Australians struggled to find affordable flights into the country and had to wait for a place in hotel quarantine. 

However, the Delta variant has escaped hotel quarantine and changed the whole discussion on how to battle the pandemic in Australia. 

The COVID-19 Situation In Australia 

Australia had a strong response to COVID-19. After implementing a fast lockdown in March 2020 and closing the borders almost immediately — the nation had very few cases of COVID-19 for the next 14 months, other than an outbreak in Melbourne in July 2020. 

However, when the Delta variant entered Australia in June 2020, the Australian government plunged parts of the country back into lockdown. Sydney, a city that enjoyed almost zero-COVID since April 2020, entered one of the world’s toughest lockdowns. 

Empty Sydney streets after Covid-19 Sydney lockdown

The 7-day case average is currently at 2,127 nationwide, the highest since the pandemic began. The Australian government has decided it is time to scrap the zero-COVID policy and learn to live with the virus. However, various Australian states are refusing to take that approach. 

Australia’s vaccination rate has skyrocketed in recent months. After an incredibly slow start, the nation has fully vaccinated 58.4 percent of people over the age of 16. Parts of Australia — such as NSW — have caught up with the United States and the U.K in terms of vaccination levels.

Melbourne Covid-19

The Reaction From Australia’s Travel Industry 

After almost 20 months of zero international tourists, Australia’s travel industry is in dire straits. The industry enjoyed some normality thanks to the reopening of domestic travel in 2020. However, the Delta variant has caused huge restrictions on interstate travel in Australia.

The CEO of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Daniel Gschwind said, “International tourist arrivals have to be part of the plan. Even if they’re not the first priority, we’d like to see how this is going to be worked out. There are many businesses that are just hanging on.”

Surfers Paradise

However, the Australian government has yet to confirm when the nation will allow foreign tourists to enter the country.

And despite a fast vaccination rollout in recent months, a proposed border reopening in November, and a battered travel industry — it looks like Australia won’t properly reopen until 2022, much to the displeasure of families, friends, and the travel industry.


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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.


Thursday 7th of October 2021

Who would want to visit this awful place? Australia is even worse than China...


Thursday 7th of October 2021

I am Australian nomad in Asia and now in Europe I thought I go back for Xmas but I M worried won't be able to go back to Asia again as I am based in Thailand I think Australian government pushed to the limit so there you go cancelling going Sydney looking to spend Xmas somewhere else 🎄🎄🎄🤔🤔🤔🤔😂😂😂

Jamir Massir

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

I wouldnt go there with a gun to my head. If you are an aussie cop, we see you as an S.S soldier. Just so you know. Time to quit and join the good guys.


Wednesday 6th of October 2021

Too bad, now where will people go to get beaten and maced by police and have their entire lives monitored until then?


Wednesday 6th of October 2021

does anyone actually want to go there at this point?