After almost 600 days, Australia has reopened its borders. Australia welcomed New Zealand nationals on Monday in a first step to ease restrictions once again.
Fully inoculated nationals from New Zealand who test negative before departure can now visit Australia. In some jurisdictions, such as New South Wales, they are not subject to quarantine, but these conditions may vary in other regions and states.
The next group of foreigners allowed to travel to Australia will be Singaporeans. People from the city-state who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus can travel quarantine-free to Victoria and New South Wales from November 21st, Australia’s two most populated states. However, they still need to undergo pre-departure Covid-19 testing.
The Decision Was Finalized at the G-20 Summit
On Sunday, when Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison met Lee Hsien Loong at the G-20 summit in Italy, Scott’s Singaporean counterpart, the decision was finalized.
At a press briefing in Rome on Sunday, Scott Morrison said, “Australia is open. Australians are traveling again. Australia’s opening to Singapore, opening up to New Zealand.”
While Morrison did not reveal any more details at the press briefing, Singapore’s Transport Minister S Iswaran confirmed on Facebook that Australia would allow Singaporeans to visit Australia from November 21st.
Meanwhile, Singapore extended its quarantine-free vaccinated travel lane last week and included people from Australia, besides 12 other countries, including the States and the United Kingdom.
The Australian airline Qantas has restarted its flight operations between Sydney and London, and Los Angeles.
Australians Are Ready to Take Off
Since Monday, Australians and residents have been allowed to depart from Australia without an exemption requirement.
In the meantime, fully inoculated Australians and their families have been permitted to enter Victoria and New South Wales quarantine-free since November 1st.
Morrison said in another Facebook post, “A big day for Australia! We’re ready for take-off!” He added that easing the restrictions was “an important step towards Australia reopening to the world,” and urged more people to get the jab.
Both Victoria and New South Wales have vaccinated 80% of their population.
Australia has had one of the strictest coronavirus border policies in the world. Only citizens and residents could enter Australia and had to undergo two weeks of quarantine. Thousands of Australians were left to their own devices abroad when many flights were canceled and weekly limits put in place regarding how many people could enter Australia’s major cities.