The prime minister Scott Morrison has announced a series of major changes to Australia’s international border rules which will allow thousands of overseas arrivals to enter the country from December 1. From that date, all valid visa holders who have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognised by the TGA will be permitted to enter Australia without needing to apply for a special exemption. This includes working-holiday visa holders such as backpackers, international students, skilled workers, refugee applicants and provisional family visa holders.
In addition to these changes, Australia will also establish travel bubbles with Japan and South Korea, similar to that already in effect with Singapore and previously in action with New Zealand. This will allow fully vaccinated holidaymakers from these countries to enter Australia freely without the need to quarantine upon their arrival.
The prime minister’s announcement will be a great relief to many sectors of the Australian economy. The hospitality sector, as well as the agricultural industry, have been particularly hard hit by the absence of migrant workers since borders shut in March 2020. “The return of skilled workers and students to Australia is a major milestone in our pathway back, it’s a major milestone about what Australians have been able to achieve and enable us to do,” Morrison said.