Australia eases international border rules after 18 months

Associated Press - Rick Rycroft

Australia began easing international border rules in place since the start of the pandemic as several international flights touched down in the country and residents in certain Australian states were allowed to travel again, Reuters reported.

“It’s a day for celebration — the fact that Australians can move more freely in and out of our country without home quarantine, if they’re double-vaccinated,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday, according to the wire service. 

On Monday, permanent residents and citizens from Australian capital Canberra and the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria were allowed to begin flying out of the country if they were fully vaccinated.

They will no longer need to quarantine when they return to Australia, and they do not need an exemption to leave the country, marking some of the first signs of a return to normalcy in Australia.

The capital and two Australian states have been able to enjoy relaxed COVID-19 protocols because they reached a threshold of at least 80 percent of residents ages 16 years and older being fully vaccinated, according to Reuters. Other areas of Australia will reopen again at different paces. 

The easing of international border rules also means that Australian citizens and permanent residents who were living overseas are now allowed to return to the country after months of separation, Reuters noted.

New Zealand residents who are vaccinated are now also allowed to enter Australia as of Monday and later this month, starting Nov. 21, Singapore residents will also be allowed to enter into Australia without quarantining.

Tags Australia Australia COVID-19 New Zealand Singapore

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