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After 2 years, Australia to reopen to tourists

Fully vaccinated tourists will finally be permitted to visit Australia

Cassidy Knowlton
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Cassidy Knowlton
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Fully vaccinated visitors will be allowed into Australia from February 21. That is almost two years after prime minister Scott Morrison closed borders to international visitors on March 19, 2020. 

Since then, only Australian citizens and residents have been permitted to re-enter the country, and until November 2021 even they had to spend two weeks in hotel quarantine upon arrival. 

From February 21, tourists can return - provided they are fully vaccinated. "That's the rule," Morrison said. "Everyone is expected to abide by it, and it's very important that people understand that requirement if they're seeking to come to Australia.

"If you're double-vaccinated, we look forward to welcoming you back to Australia, and I know the tourism industry will be looking forward to that."

Rules differ by state, but at the moment international arrivals have to do either a PCR or rapid antigen test upon arrival in Victoria and NSW and must quarantine until they receive a negative result. For those who opt for the rapid antigen tests, that effectively means no quarantine, as results are ready within half an hour. 

Remember when borders were slammed shut? Here's what's happened in Australia during the two years of Covid-19

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