Australia has pursued a “Zero Covid” policy since the start of the pandemic with some of the strictest entry rules for overseas arrivals implemented by any developed nation. The measures have been applied equally to Australian nationals and residents as they have to foreign nationals. The extreme restrictions have been highly effective and resulted in Australia suffering from amongst the lowest cases of Covid infections in the world.
All arrivals into Australia must quarantine at a designated facility for 14 days. The United Kingdom has been criticised for the implementing a much lighter version of the Australian system.
There have now been suggestions that Australia could open up to vaccinated visitors from abroad but not until 2022.
The Independent reported that Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said: “It is a reasonable expectation that, as time goes on, as the vaccination rolls out across the world and here in Australia, you should rightly expect that things will change and how we manage the virus.”
The newspaper also reported comments from Phillipa Harrison, the managing director of Tourism Australia, who said: “There’s still going to be a lot of friction to travel, so it’s not like on January 1, 2022, the borders are going to fling open and we’re going to go back to where we are.
“We will find that some cohorts or groups, like working holidaymakers or visiting friends and relatives groups, will take a bit of that friction.
“But for the leisure two-week holiday to come back it’s going to be a little bit of a while.”
The Independent also reported comments by Jo Boundy, chief marketing officer for Qantas, who said: “What our customers are telling us – nine in 10 people are saying that they expect on an international flight everyone to be vaccinated and they themselves wouldn’t go unless they and everyone else on the flight was vaccinated.”
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