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Eligible visa holders are allowed to enter from December 1


Passengers are greeted upon arrival at the Sydney Airport terminal on November 21, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.

James D. Morgan | Getty Images

Australia is expected to allow eligible and fully vaccinated visa holders to enter from December 1 without needing to apply for a travel exemption, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday.

Eligible visa holders include skilled workers, students, refugees as well as working vacationers.

“The steps we are taking today are aimed at securing our economic recovery, the steps we are taking today are about Australians looking to the future, the steps we are taking today are about moving Australia forward.” , Morrison said at a press briefing.

“The return of skilled workers and students to Australia is a major step in our return journey,” he added. “This is an important step in what the Australians have been able to achieve and allow us to do.”

Australia closed its borders in March 2020 to everyone except Australian citizens and permanent residents due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, more than 500,000 temporary migrants have left the country, according to a parliamentary report in August. A lack of skilled migrants, along with a low unemployment rate, has resulted in “major skills shortages in many sectors of the Australian economy,” a member of parliament said.

The country expects to welcome around 200,000 eligible visa holders when restrictions are lifted on Dec. 1, but that number could be higher, according to Home Secretary Karen Andrews. These travelers would be subject to relevant quarantine provisions, depending on the state they enter.

States like New South Wales and Victoria as well as the Australian Capital Territory no longer require mandatory quarantine for vaccinated travelers.

Visitors from Japan, South Korea

After allowing vaccinated citizens of New Zealand and Singapore to enter this month, Australia will extend this provision to include those of Japan and South Korea, starting December 1.

Japanese and South Korean citizens are expected to leave their home countries and hold a valid Australian visa to enter. They must also be fully vaccinated and have a negative Covid-19 test before their departure.

Receiving tourists from South Korea, Japan and Singapore is an “important first step” for Australia’s plans to reopen to international visitors, Morrison said. “These are all very important tourism markets for Australia, and so we welcome them with open arms, and if we can expand that to others by the end of the year, well, we’ll be looking very carefully at that. “

Fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents are already allowed to leave Australia from any state or territory without the need for a travel exemption. On the way back, they would be subject to quarantine measures in force of the state they are entering from.