On Monday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, international tourists will be able to enter Australia from December 1; the development marks the restart of international travel to the country, boosting its economy.
In May 2020, Australia shut its international border and allowed only restricted numbers of citizens and permanent residents to enter in its bid to slash the spread of the COVID-19, which scientists have concluded started from Wuhan, China.
In recent weeks, Australia relaxed international travel rules, to allow foreign family members of citizens to enter. This measure will now be scaled up from December 1 to allow vaccinated students, business visa holders and refugees to arrive in the country.
“The return of skilled workers and students to Australia is a major milestone in our pathway back,” said Morrison.
Vaccinated tourists from Japan and South Korea will also be allowed from December 1.
The return of foreign students, who together contribute around $25 billion (A$35 billion) a year to the Australian economy, will be a major boost to its education sector.
On Sunday , a group of international students arrived in Australia from Singapore following a travel bubble agreement between the two countries.
Border rules, tough social distancing rules and swift lockdowns have helped Australia keep COVID-19 cases low in comparison to other comparable countries. Australia has recorded 200,000 cases and 1,948 deaths.
New infections have mostly been reported in the state of Victoria, which logged 1,029 cases on Monday. New South Wales reported 180 cases as well. Other states and territories are mostly COVID-free or have very few cases.
($1 = 1.3824 Australian dollars)