Australia has reopened its international border for the first time in nearly two years.
With the borders opened, fully vaccinated visitors do not need to quarantine, but unvaccinated travellers must do so in a hotel for up to 14 days at their own expense.
The country imposed some of the world’s strictest travel bans after shutting itself off in March 2020 owing to the emergence of the covid-19 pandemic.
However, relaxing the restrictions, travellers can now enter all states except Western Australia, which remains closed until March 3.
“What wonderful, wonderful news for our tourism industry and the 660,000 people employed in it,” Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said.
Australia had about 9.5 million overseas visitors in 2019 however Tehan said he hoped for a strong rebound in the tourism sector, which has been hit by domestic travel bans too.
The country’s strict measures drew criticism for separating families and stifling businesses, but they were also credited with preventing many deaths before vaccines were available. Australia has had about 4,900 Covid deaths.