When international tourists will finally be allowed to enter Australia

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When international tourists will finally be allowed to enter Australia

Australia will open its borders to international tourists by February 2022 - as Scott Morrison considers four more countries for trave

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Australia will open its borders to international tourists by February 2022 – as Scott Morrison considers four more countries for travel bubbles

  • Australia’s borders have been closed since March due to coronavirus pandemic 
  • Tourism Minister Dan Tehan hopes overseas visitors will enter country next year 
  • Scott Morrison said he is looking to set up travel bubbles with Pacific countries 

International tourists will be allowed to enter Australia freely by this time next year, Tourism Minister Dan Tehan hopes.

Australia’s borders have been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, with only citizens, residents and exempted foreigners allowed to enter. 

Mr Tehan said the ban on overseas tourists – who spent $45billion a year in Australia before coronavirus – could will remain in place for the rest of 2021. 

International tourists will be allowed to enter Australia freely by this time next year, Tourism Minister Dan Tehan hopes

International tourists will be allowed to enter Australia freely by this time next year, Tourism Minister Dan Tehan hopes

‘Our hope is that by this time next year we’ll have international tourists back,’ he told Seven Network show Sunrise on Monday.

In the meantime, Mr Tehan said the government was considering setting up travel bubbles with Singapore and ‘potentially with Japan, if they can get the virus under control again.’

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he is looking to set up travel bubbles with Pacific countries after allowing New Zealanders to enter in October. 

‘We are working on countries like Vanuatu, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Fiji and so on,’ he told radio 2SM on Monday.

Mr Morrison wants travel with these countries so workers can come over to Australia to pick fruit and vegetables as farmers suffer a chronic labor shortage due to a lack of backpackers who normally do this work.

‘We’re really frustrated in not being able to get workers out there in rural Australia. Largely because backpackers aren’t here in the same numbers they usually are,’ he said.

Pacific nations have had very low levels of coronavirus for months but Mr Morrison said he needs greater assurance that their testing is up to scratch before any bubbles begin.

‘We don’t have full confidence yet that they are just going to a complete what’s called a green lane.

‘But we’re working with them to ensure we can just lift that confidence. We’ll be seeking to support them with their testing over there and I hope we can make some real progress on that soon. I’d love to see a Pacific bubble,’ he said.

Mr Morrison wants travel bubbles with Pacific countries so workers can come over to Australia

Mr Morrison wants travel bubbles with Pacific countries so workers can come over to Australia

However, Mr Morrison warned that it may not be a two-way bubble that allows Aussies to go on holiday straight away. 

‘One of the things I’m concerned about is Australians going there…  if the virus got into one of those Pacific countries, their health systems aren’t the same as ours,’ he explained.

But the prime minister said his confidence will increase the longer Australia goes without major community transmission. 

‘The risk of us infecting those Pacific nations, I think has significantly lessened over recent months,’ he said.

New Zealand is considering allowing Australians to enter but no timeframe has been set. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured on Monday) said he is looking to set up travel bubbles with Pacific countries after allowing New Zealanders to enter in October

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured on Monday) said he is looking to set up travel bubbles with Pacific countries after allowing New Zealanders to enter in October

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