Australia to finally open to tourists in March

Photo by Flickr/J. Philipp Krone.

Vaccinated international tourists will finally be allowed to enter Australia again in March. The country’s borders shut exactly two years before that in March 2020. Skilled migrants and international students were only allowed back in December 2021. But now that Covid-19 cases are down in all states except Western Australia, Australia’s home affairs minister says she’s making the opening a “priority.”

The minister said the most important issue in opening to tourists will be the impact on hospitals. In January, Australian nurses called for the military to help in hospitals when they were overwhelmed during a major Omicron wave. A deputy premier said hospitals had record admittance numbers. But over 4,000 nurses couldn’t work, because they had been exposed to Covid-19. The home affairs minister said Australia’s economy is still under pressure from Covid-19, and she wants to see foreigners return to boost the country’s important tourism industry. Over 90% of Australians are vaccinated, and 8.8 million booster shots have been given.

Tourists will first be allowed to arrive by plane, and cruise ships will be allowed to operate again much later. The minister said she couldn’t guarantee the border wouldn’t close again, but the government would do all it could to keep it open.

Source: Daily Mail | Daily Mail

 

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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