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Australia: Here's when it will reopen to international tourists

After the acute phase of the Covid emergency and above all thanks to the advancement of the vaccination campaign, many countries are reopening their borders to international tourism.

The most anticipated announcement was that of the United States, which arrived at the end of September, with the end of the travel ban introduced by former President Trump in March 2020 and still in force. A few days ago the White House also announced the official reopening date of the borders to vaccinated foreign tourists: Monday 8 November. Very little is missing.

Other countries have made similar announcements, such as the Fiji Islands. End of isolation also for Australia, but with the limited opening of borders. Here's what you need to know in this case.

After a year and a half of international isolation, Australia announced the forthcoming reopening of its borders in early October. The country, in the news for its very strict and prolonged lockdowns, had introduced a ban on going abroad for Australians and resident foreigners, as well as a ban on entry for Australians abroad as well.

For a year and a half many families have been separated, making it impossible for Australians abroad and for foreigners to return to Australia, except for reasons of urgency or necessity. Now, finally, this strict ban is about to fall, thanks to the reopening of the borders announced for next November.

Beware, however, Australia will still remain closed to international tourists. From November, only Australian citizens will be able to travel freely abroad, without justification. Likewise, foreigners residing in Australia will be able to return to their country. At the beginning, travelers will be required to have a swab and will also be subjected to a 7-day quarantine to be spent at home upon their return.

But when will tourists be able to return to Australia? Not until the beginning of 2022. As Prime Minister Scott Morrison pointed out, the "international visitors" will arrive "next year". Because now "the priority is the Australians," the premier told the Associated Press.

There is still no date on opening up to international tourism. It could be as early as January 2022, and it would not be long, or in the following months. In the meantime, fully vaccinated Australians will be able to travel abroad again from next November.

Australia, which already had strict immigration travel rules from abroad, introduced very severe restrictions on entry into the country during the pandemic. So far, Australians and foreign residents have been able to leave the country to go abroad only for essential reasons and in any case, in recent months, many requests have been rejected. Among the few authorized trips were those of Australian athletes and the Australian delegation to the Tokyo Olympics.

Similarly, only very few exceptions were allowed to enter Australia from abroad, involving people with high skills in fighting the pandemic and in sectors of national importance or for compassionate reasons. In any case, every single request for entry into the country has been subjected to specific evaluation and authorization.

We therefore wait for the vaccination campaign to consolidate and above all for the epidemic curve not to rise.


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