Feb 20, 2022 - World

Australia reopens borders to world for first time in nearly 2 years

Amanda Moss and Cindy Moss embrace on arrival at Sydney's International Airport on February 21, 2022 in Sydney, Australia.

People embrace on arrival at Sydney's International Airport in Sydney, Australia, on Monday morning local time. Photo: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Australia reopened its international border for the first time in nearly two years on Monday.

Why it matters: Australia's borders shut to most non-residents in March 2020, as the pandemic spread across the world.

  • The country's tough pandemic policies made headlines last month when world men's tennis no. 1 Novak Djokovic was deported from the country for being unvaccinated.

Details: Foreign travelers who've received two COVID-19 vaccine doses don't need to quarantine.

  • "Unvaccinated visa holders will still need to be in an exempt category or hold an individual travel exemption to enter Australia," per an Australian government statement.
  • Unvaccinated travelers must pay to stay in isolation at a hotel for up to 14 days, the BBC notes.

By the numbers: Some 9.5 million international visitors traveled to Australia in 2019, according to Tourism Australia.

What they're saying: "The return of double vaccinated international visitors will reinvigorate Australia's tourism sector, that supports 660,000 jobs and contributed $60.4 billion to the economy in 2018-19," per a government statement.

  • "The first visitors back in Sydney will be greeted with gifts of Vegemite and toy koalas and kangaroos, an iconic Surf Life Saving crew and a DJ playing Australia's favourite tunes," the statement added.
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