For the first time in almost two years, people can travel to Australia from anywhere in the world as long as they have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

What’s happening in Australia?

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the reopening of the country’s borders Monday to vaccinated tourists for the first time since closing them in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • “If you’re double vaccinated, we look forward to welcoming you back,” the prime minister said in a BBC article.
  • The reopening, which is scheduled to take effect on Feb. 21, is expected to revive migration and add billions of dollars to the world No. 13 economy, according to Reuters.
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What is new Australia’s COVID-19 condition?

Morrison’s one key condition is that all incoming travelers must be “double vaccinated,” according to Forbes.

Australia’s history with COVID-19 restrictions

Australia has had some of the world’s strictest border controls throughout the pandemic, although the country has allowed the entry of students and skilled workers in recent months, as well as allowed special travel arrangements with countries like New Zealand and Singapore.

Australia and the omicron variant

  • The announcement comes as Australia’s omicron wave appears to be declining with more than 23,000 new cases reported Monday, down from 150,000 in January, Forbes reported.
  • Around 2.4 million cases have been recorded in Australia since the first omicron case was detected in Australia in November. Before that, the country had only counted around 200,000 cases. There have been 4,248 deaths in Australia since the start of the pandemic, according to Reuters.