Foreign Tourists Not Welcome To Australia Until 2022

110
Irish tourists will have to wait until next year to visit the iconic Sydney Opera House (Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay)

International tourists will not be welcomed back to Australia until next year, with the return of skilled migrants and students given higher priority, the prime minister said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was expected to reach the benchmark of 80% of the population aged 16 and older having a second dose of a covid vaccine to enable a relaxation of travel.  Last week, he outlined plans to allow vaccinated citizens and permanent residents to fly overseas from November for the first time since an extraordinarily tough travel ban took effect in March last year.

The pandemic has also had a disastrous effect on Australian universities that rely heavily on fees paid by international students. The Australian Tourism Export Council, which represents a sector that made 28 billion Australian euro a year from international tourists before the pandemic, wants international visitors to return by March.

Australia is racing to inoculate its population as an outbreak of the more contagious delta variant that began in Sydney in June continues to spread. New South Wales leads the other states in vaccination rates and Sydney’s airport is expected to be the first to reopen to vaccinated travellers.