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Citizens and permanent residents vaccinated against the virus will be able to enter and leave Australia from Monday. This brings to an end, albeit partially, one of the world’s strictest border closures against the coronavirus and thousands of nationals trapped overseas will be able to return home.
Australia’s borders had been completely closed since March 2020, some 600 days ago, when its own citizens were banned from leaving the country. Now, with the goal of reaching 80% of the population with full vaccination achieved, the gates are reopening.
Emotional scenes at the airportSydney airport has been filled with emotional scenes with hundreds of citizens and residents, as well as their close family members, taking center stage. Passengers and their loved ones gave hugs and kisses, cried and laughed, shouted euphorically to embrace each other again amid swarms of journalists and photographers and tucked under signs that read, “Welcome home.”
AUSTRALIA POSTPONES BORDER OPENING
Previously, the existing health measures were varied: for example, in the metropolitan area of Melbourne, with almost 5 million inhabitants, there was a night curfew and only two hours outdoors per day, and no more than 5 km away from home. In addition, there were other similar measures in Queensland, Canberra and other territories in the country.
Perhaps we are struck by how strict the Australian government’s measures are compared to those in other countries like ours. In fact, comparatively, I find the protests that occur in our country for a confinement of two-week periods extendable.
However, it does maintain its corridor or bubble of permitted travel with New Zealand, as long as pandemic control conditions are maintained and other travel to other areas of the world is permitted, while maintaining the strict quarantine measures that were already in place.
To visit Australia, an e-visitor visa is required, which is a lengthy process, especially since the beginning of the pandemic. Currently, no travelers are allowed to enter Australia. There are only three exceptions:
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Australia implemented an ironclad border closure policy from March 2020 in an effort to curb the pandemic. Australians have been unable to travel overseas for more than 18 months without one of those exemptions, including on humanitarian or national security grounds, while thousands of fully vaccinated residents living overseas have been unable to return due to the restrictions.
“The national plan is working … (it’s) about opening up Australia and that’s because vaccination rates are way up,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Seven News on Wednesday. Australia has vaccinated 74% of the population with the full guideline.
However, those Australians who have one or no doses will have to prove they meet those exemptions, including for humanitarian or national security reasons, or they will still not be able to leave Australian territory.
Australia, which maintains a travel bubble with New Zealand without quarantine for people with full doses of the drug, will launch from November 8 another air corridor with Singapore without isolation period for travelers vaccinated with the full regimen.
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While those who have one or no doses will have to prove that they comply with these exceptions, including humanitarian or national security reasons, or they will still not be able to leave Australian territory.
Australia, which maintains a travel bubble with New Zealand without quarantine for people with full doses of the drug, will launch on November 8 another air corridor with Singapore without isolation period for travelers vaccinated with the full regimen.