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COVID-19: Australia reopens to international tourists

Australia’s opening to tourists is the clearest example of the government’s shift from a community-based approach to eliminating COVID-19 (zero COVID) to a safe, live virus approach.

Australia will welcome international tourists from February 21, nearly two years after borders were closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The new decision comes after high vaccination rates and a drop in new infections.

Australia’s reopening to tourists is the clearest example of the government’s transition from a community-based approach to eliminating COVID-19 (zero COVID) to virus isolation and vaccination. Help reduce deaths and major illnesses.

Most of the 2.7 million infections in Australia have been recorded since the Omicron variant emerged in late November 2021.

[Australia publishes new regulations on COVID-19 vaccination]

But thanks to the highest vaccination rates in the world (more than 94% of the population over 16 received 2 doses of the primary vaccine), nearly 5,000 deaths were recorded nationwide, a very low rate compared to the previous year. many other countries. other developed countries.

Australia will gradually open from November 2021, first allowing Australians in and out, then international students and some foreign workers. Tourists and business people will be allowed in from February 21. Incoming travelers who have been vaccinated against essential vaccines will not be quarantined, but those who have not been vaccinated will still be quarantined.

“Reopening will strengthen Australia’s reputation as an open economy and make it easier to do business,” said Steve Hughes, head of commercial bank HSBC Australia. “For companies with international interests”.

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