Australia reopening borders to tourism

Australia might reopen a travel bubble with UK and US, according to Qantas CEO

Australia is not open for tourism, only essential travel is allowed. All arrivals need to present a negative PCR test at check-in and agree to a 14-day quarantine.

Australian borders remain closed for most countries. Returning nationals and residents, along with visitors traveling from New Zealand are the only exceptions. 

It is likely the country will remain closed until 2022, according to multiple Australian authorities. 

Join our COVID travel advice FB group

Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.

RELATED:
When is Bali opening for tourism?
Singapore open to tourists from 5 countries
Is Malaysia open for tourism?

Australia Reopening Borders – Latest Updates

Sydney, Australia - reopening for tourism

June 8 – Australia might reopen a travel bubble with the U.K., and the U.S. according to Qantas CEO

Trade and Tourism Minister Dan Tehan has officially announced the federal governments of Australia and New Zealand are working on expanding the existing quarantine-free travel bubble to include at least 5 island countries in the Pacific.

For its part, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said last week that the reasonable next step would be to put the U.S. and U.K. next on the travel bubble agenda. 

Minister Tehan immediately backed him up by telling reporters that “Alan has definitely got the right idea”. “We want to build on the success of our travel bubble with New Zealand. Six weeks now, we have had a two-way travel bubble and it is working very well,” 

However “[We] have got to remember at the moment there are over 3,000 active cases in the U.K. and the U.S. each day, so still a long way to go there for them in dealing with the virus and obviously, once they can get on top of that, we can start looking at these things,” said Tehan.

(Source: 7News)

May 26 – Australian Prime Minister turned down a tourism industry leaders’ proposal to reopen this year

Australia business network sent the federal government a proposal to reopen the country this year. The main idea was that vaccinated Aussies could travel overseas without spending two weeks in hotel quarantine when returning home, the same way they do with New Zealand now.

Acting chief executive Jenny Lambert, said the country will lose billions of dollars if Australia waits until 2022 to reopen. 

Regardless of the bold proposal and solid financial arguments, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told business leaders it is not safe to lift travel restrictions as of now. 

“I understand that everyone is keen to get back to a time that we once knew. But the reality is we are living this year in a pandemic that is worse than last year,” Morrison told reporters.

(Source: Reuters)

May 26 – Australian Prime Minister turned down a tourism industry leaders’ proposal to reopen this year

Australia business network sent the federal government a proposal to reopen the country this year. The main idea was that vaccinated Aussies could travel overseas without spending two weeks in hotel quarantine when returning home, the same way they do with New Zealand now.

‎Jenny Lambert, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry acting chief executive, said the country will lose billions of dollars if Australia waits until 2022 to reopen. 

Regardless of the bold proposal and solid financial arguments, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told business leaders it is not safe to lift travel restrictions as of now. 

“I understand that everyone is keen to get back to a time that we once knew. But the reality is we are living this year in a pandemic that is worse than last year,” Said Morrison at a press conference.

(Source: Reuters)

May 11 – Australia is considering a three-principle roadmap to reopen

As stated by Health Minister Greg Hunt, Australia is considering reopening the country when 3 principles are met. 

Thus, the country will reopen when/if,

  • First, the travel bubbles work well as the one stabilized with New Zealand. Then the “capacity can be expanded to the Pacific, possibly Singapore or possibly to other countries.”
  • Second, there is a massive vaccination program.
  • Third, after assessing the progressive capacity, “based on medical advice for those that have been vaccinated to have easier passage out and easier passage in.”

According to early looks at the 2021 federal budget, “the assumption is that international borders would reopen in 2022”, said an Australian spokesperson.

April 23 – Australia-New Zealand travel bubble about to burst. Some airlines would rather wait until October

Travel Bubbles around the world have demonstrated to be as breakable as soap bubbles. On the first day of the Australia-New Zealand’s travel corridor reopening, a fully vaccinated cleaner at Auckland airport tested positive for Covid-19.

Qatas had brought back 300 employees, and for a while the reopening hung by a thread. Fortunately, NZ could demonstrate this case had nothing to do with the bubble.

“When we opened, on both sides, we of course knew we would continue to have cases connected to our border,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

For its part, airlines such as Virgin Australia are concerned about rehiring personnel when the possibility of a disruption is so high. To avoid a situation like this, the company has announced they’d rather wait until October to join the travel agreement.  

April 6 – New travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand

Once again, Australia will reopen the “old” new travel bubble that has opened and closed multiple times with New Zealand. Starting April 19, nationals and residents from both countries will be able to visit each other’s countries without having to quarantine. 

The announcement was made today by the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) and by the Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) in New Zealand. 

“Our industry [is] very happy to hear that a travel bubble has been agreed between the Australian and New Zealand governments which will see one of our most significant markets back online,” said ATEC managing director Peter Shelley.

When will Australia reopen borders for tourism?

Aircraft - Qantas

Unfortunately, it does not appear that Australia will be reopening its international borders for tourism anytime in the near future, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other government officials have announced multiple times. 

Wildlife Australia

COVID situation in Australia

As of June 8, the island nation has had 30,207 cases of COVID-19 -a very small number compared to other countries of its size- and 910 people have died of the disease in the country.

Australia has been praised for being among the top-10 countries in handling the COVID-19 crisis. As of today, Australians enjoy a pretty much pre-pandemic “normal life.”