Australia set to remain closed to international tourists until 2022
Australia's border has been essentially closed since March 2020.
Those looking to visit Australia this Christmas will have to wait a little longer as the country is set to remain closed to international tourists until 2022.
The country's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has said that he wants 80% of Australians over the age of 16 to receive their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine before opening the country up.
Throughout the pandemic, Australia operated strict travel restrictions and has kept their border closed since March 2020. Their approach to Covid-19 was praised for its effectiveness in suppressing the virus, but it was also subject to some criticism from many citizens.
Australian citizens and permanent residents were allowed to return to the country from abroad throughout the pandemic, however, they had to quarantine for 14 days in a hotel at their own expense. These returns were also subject to quota limits.
November will see the introduction of home quarantine systems in the country, though each territory will have its own individual rules.
Last week, PM Morrison shared plans that would allow vaccinated citizens and permanent residents to fly overseas.
The next step in easing Australia's travel ban is to allow skilled migrants and international students entry to the country.
Mr. Morrison told the Australian news channel Seven: "The next priorities are skilled migrants that are very important for the country and who are double vaccinated, as well as students who are coming and returning to Australia for their studies.
"We will get to international visitors as well, I believe next year."
The PM also reflected on the country's citizens' efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
He said: "It's time to give Australians their lives back. We've saved lives. We've saved livelihoods, but we must work together to ensure that Australians can reclaim the lives that they once had in this country."