Australian border may open by Easter: afternoon

Australia may be aiming to open its international borders to tourists for the first time in two years, providing potentially good news for suffering tourists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic To do.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stopped providing accurate dates for possible resumptions, but said he hopes it will happen before Easter.

“Well, I can’t give you a specific date yet … and that’s because we’re seeing how Omicron is now flushing the eastern states,” he says. Told 4CA In Cairns.

“But when Omicron peaks, it begins to open up opportunities. In New South Wales and Queensland, children soon returned to school. I want it to work. I am. “

The government is encouraging international backpackers and students to return with a visa refund, and Morrison says welcoming international tourists will be the next hurdle.

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will speak at the Citizenship and Launch Ceremony in Canberra, Australia, on January 26, 2022. (Brooke Mitchell / Getty Images)

“Relaxing quarantine arrangements in Queensland means more people will come directly to Queensland,” he said of the country’s major tourism states.

“As them [quarantine] Arrangements are relaxed for a fully vaccinated arrival, then you will see people come back. That way, it will be very possible for foreign visitors to come back. “

“So, to be honest, I don’t think it’s too far … but I need to get more medical advice about it. Relationship with the state to make sure we’re comfortable with it. Please increase a little more. “

“I want to see us get there soon, long before Easter, long before Easter,” he added.

based on limit Currently, only Australian citizens and permanent residents, their families, and certain visa and exempt tourists from New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and South Korea can enter Australia.

Australia’s vaccination coverage is currently over 90%, and tourist operators are calling on the government to open borders to save the afflicted industry.

“The tourism sector was one of the first to feel the enormous cost of COVID-19. The border has been closed to the tourism market for 678 days and is counting,” said the Executive Chair of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. John Hurt, who is, said: statement January 27th.

“As a priority, the federal government needs to encourage all fully vaccinated travelers to reopen their borders, which gives the tourism industry confidence in reopening its business.”

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On October 26, 2019, tourists gather to see the colors of Uluru’s sunset, also known as Ayers Rock, at Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory of Australia. (SaeedKhan / AFP via Getty Images)

Hart called on the government to implement the newly announced targeted financial support and other major policy initiatives by the Tourism Board of the Australian Chamber of Commerce. Pre-budget submission (Pdf).

“Without a promise to completely open the border, it’s fair to get help from companies to prevent them from committing their faults,” he said.

“It is imperative to provide targeted support to companies that continue to be adversely affected by border restrictions, such as travel agencies, inbound tour operator departments, the cruise industry, and business events.”

According to the report, in the fiscal year ending June 2021, Australia’s international visitor numbers decreased by 98.4%, foreign visitor spending decreased by 97.1%, and visitor nights decreased by 96.5%. did. Statistics by the Australian Tourism BoardAn organization within the Australian Government.

Epoch Times Sydney Staff