By Chris King • 08 February 2022 • 3:40
Almost two years after closing its borders to the rest of the world, the Australian government announced on Monday, February 7, that later this month, Australia will finally reopen. Double-jabbed people from any part of the world will be able to enter once more.
In recent months, restrictions in the country had started to be relaxed, with skilled migrants being allowed through, as well as the formation of quarantine free travel ‘bubbles’ with nations like New Zealand.
February 21 is the magical date that will end two years of utter misery for Australia’s decimated tourism industry. Some of the strictest coronavirus measures in the world have been placed on its borders since March 2020.
A relatively low death rate and low case numbers of Covid-19 have been attributed by experts to these severe border policies, plus the strict lockdowns that were implemented as soon as any outbreaks were detected. These had been halted permanently last December
Speaking in Canberra, three months before the elections, Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Minister, commented, “If you’re double-vaccinated, we look forward to welcoming you back to Australia”.
Peter Shelley, the Australian Tourism Export Council Managing Director, said, “Over the two years since the borders have been closed, the industry has been on its knees. Now we can turn our collective efforts towards rebuilding an industry that is in disrepair”.
Margy Osmond, CEO of Tourism and Transport Forum said, “It’s not as simple as just turning on the tap and we see numbers of international tourists back where they were pre-Covid”.
According to the government body, Tourism Research Australia, since the start of the pandemic, international and domestic tourism losses have amounted to approximately A$101.7 billion (approx £53.4b), as reported by metro.co.uk.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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