Asia/Pacific

Australia reopening borders to tourists on Monday

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Australian authorities said they plan to reopen the country’s borders to international tourists on Monday after closing them for nearly two years, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reported

Since November, Australia has allowed citizens and residents to travel in and out of the country, then admitted international students and some employees. On Monday, leisure and business travelers will be able to enter the country, according to Reuters. 

“The wait is over,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. 

The opening of borders signals that Australia is moving away from a zero COVID-19 strategy to one in which the population lives with the virus amid its 94 percent vaccination rates, which is among the highest of most countries in the world, Reuters reported.

“The reopening reinforces Australia’s credentials as an open economy and will allow companies with international interests to more easily conduct business,” said Steve Hughes, the head of HSBC’s commercial banking in the country.

“We expect that mid-sized firms which have reached the limits of their domestic growth will have renewed confidence to consider offshore expansion,” he added.

Most of the country’s 2.7 million infections since the start of the pandemic have occurred during the last few months after the omicron variant was detected. The country has counted just under 5,000 deaths, which is far less than most other countries in the world in the last two years due to the virus.

Tags Australia COVID-19 travel restrictions Scott Morrison

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