Oct 1, 2021 - World

Australia plans to lift 18-month travel ban for fully vaccinated citizens

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces a plan to 'live with the virus' during a press conference at Parliament House

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks at a press confernece at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia on August 23, 2021. Photo: Rohan Thomson/Getty Images

Australia on Friday announced plans to lift its travel ban for fully vaccinated citizens starting next month.

Why it matters: The announcement comes 18 months after Australia imposed some of the world's most severe border restrictions — trapping most Australians and permanent residents in the country, and preventing thousands of others outside the island nation from returning home.

Driving the news: The new policy will enable fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents to travel abroad when 80% of the local adult population is vaccinated, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

  • Vaccinated residents returning to Australia will be required to complete a seven-day quarantine at home.
  • No date has been set for opening borders to international tourists.

What they're saying: "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," Morrison said.

  • "We’ll be working towards complete quarantine-free travel for certain countries, such as New Zealand, when it is safe to do so," Morrison said.

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