Canberra, Australia: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said Australia will not welcome foreign tourists until at least next year, while announcing plans to lift the toughest COVID-1 travel ban imposed by a democracy.
Priority will be given to the return of skilled immigrants and students after the criteria of reopening the outer border after the completion of full vaccination of 100% of the population of 1 year and above.
Morrison also announced plans to allow vaccinated citizens and permanent residents to fly abroad in November for the first time since March 2020.
The country’s strict travel ban, which has forced many Australians to leave and barred many foreigners from entering, has resulted in the lowest level of immigration since World War II.
Those who are able to enter must spend two weeks in the hotel quarantine.
The measures have particularly affected Australian universities, which rely heavily on fees paid by international students.
While sanctions previously kept daily life normal for many of the epidemics, the country is now experiencing lockouts in major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, as well as the capital, Canberra.
The coveted ban also carries an emotional burden in a country where half of the people are born abroad or have at least one immigrant parent.
The Australian Tourism Export Council, representing the region earning वार्षिक 33 billion a year from international tourists before the epidemic, recalled international tourists by March, while Australian tourism operators expressed their frustration at the lack of details about the resumption of leisure travel.
Daniel Gswind, chief executive of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, emphasized that “international tourist arrivals should be part of the plan,” he told the Associated Press.
Last week, Morrison said his government was “working towards complete quarantine-free travel for some countries, such as New Zealand.”
Australia and New Zealand had a short-term quarantine-free travel bubble, but New Zealand reintroduced quarantine after the last outbreak due to the Delta variant, which spread across Australia.