Starting November 1, Australian states that reach 80% vaccination rates will reopen to international travel. Leaders in education, travel and business cheered the news.
On October 1, Qantas announced that it will resume international flights on November 14. It will offer three weekly flights between Sydney and London and Sydney and Los Angeles.
Vaccinated travelers must undergo pre-flight testing followed by one week of home quarantine.
Australians who have completed a full vaccination series recognized by the nation’s Therapeutic Goods Administration will receive priority status for travel. Unvaccinated individuals must quarantine for 14 days in a hotel.
Recognized vaccines include AstraZenica, Janssen, Moderna, Coronavac, Covishield and Pfizer’s products.
Officials also told the media that vaccinated Australians won’t face bans to any countries. However, there will be quarantine-free travel allowed to certain countries, including New Zealand.
On October 11, Sydney will ease many of its COVID-19 restrictions, including permitting community sports and indoor dining.
Vaccinated individuals don’t have to wait to enjoy the return of these privileges. However, non-vaccinated individuals must wait until nationwide vaccination rates reach 70%, 80% and 90% to benefit from the lifted restrictions.
Not all Australians celebrated this week’s news. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk expressed concern about an influx of cases from other states and the ability of local hospitals to cope with such an influx.
Due to the quarantine requirement, travel industry leaders expect a low demand for incoming flights through the holiday season.
Combined, New South Wales, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory recorded 1,500 COVID-19 cases on September 27. Australia counted more than 68,000 cases since June, when the delta variant took hold.
Government and public health officials believe cases have plateaued, but they urge citizens to get vaccinated as soon as possible. According to Premier Gladys Berejiklian, people who want to freely travel and visit friends and family must receive their COVID-19 vaccinations.