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Australia to lift international travel ban on vaccinated travellers

The Australian government has announced that it will lift ban on its citizens travelling abroad from next week, following 19 months of strict border closures.

According to the government authorities, starting 1st November 2021, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents will no longer need to apply for an exemption to leave the country. The announcement comes as Australia’s national vaccination rate approaches 80%. As it stands, people can only leave Australia for exceptional reasons such as essential work or on compassionate grounds.

Karen Andrews, Australia’s Home Affairs Minister, said:

Our first priority is Australian citizens and permanent residents and today we are delivering on that by removing restrictions on fully-vaccinated Australians travelling out of Australia. The easing of these restrictions is possible thanks to our impressive national vaccination rates, and I thank all those who have done the right thing and rolled up their sleeve. I look forward to further easing restrictions over coming weeks and months as more and more Australians become fully vaccinated. Before the end of the year, we anticipate welcoming fully vaccinated skilled workers and international students.

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Passengers will have to provide evidence of their vaccination status at airport check-in when departing Australia. Children under the age of 12, and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, will also be able to travel overseas without an exemption.

Unvaccinated travellers will still need to seek a travel exemption and will still be subject to quarantine arrangements, which are managed by states and territories, when returning to Australia.

The news comes as Singapore plans to open a quarantine-free travel corridor with Australia, allowing fully vaccinated Australians, permanent residents and their families to enter the country without having to quarantine from 8th November 2021.

As Australia is slowly reopening to the world starting in November 2021, the flag carrier of Australia, Qantas, has brought forward the resumption of many international flights by 2-3 months. The airline, which is based in Sydney, has taken this decision after the decision by Federal and New South Wales governments to open their state borders from the start of November 2021.

What do you think of Australia’s decision to lift its international travel ban? Let me know in the comments section below.

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