Tourism Australia is working on a new campaign and tactical offers to ‘welcome leisure travellers back’ after the country’s Prime Minister announced borders will reopen on 21 February.
The government closed the borders in March 2020, to help stop the spread of COVID, introducing strict caps on total arrivals, but earlier today, PM Scott Morrison said: “If you’re double vaccinated, we look forward to welcoming you back.”
Some international students and skilled workers have been allowed in since the end of last year.
Mr Morrison said the decision was made to reopen the borders because the Omicron variant is now widespread in Australia.
“The variant is here in Australia. And for those who are coming in who are double vaccinated, they don’t present any greater risk than those who are already here in Australia,” he said.
Vaccinated travellers entering most Australian states must provide a negative PCR test taken three days before their flight, or a supervised rapid test 24 hours before departure, to be exempt from any quarantine.
Western Australia, which is still pursuing a COVID-zero strategy, is expected to keep arrival caps and 14-day quarantine rules in place, which will prevent large numbers of international tourists entering from overseas.
Mr Morrison said everyone will have to ‘abide’ by the rules and provide provide proof of vaccination.
Unvaccinated travellers who have a medical reason for not being jabbed will still need to apply for a travel exemption and, if successful, will be required to quarantine at a hotel.
Tourism Australia said it will ‘work with a range of key distribution and airline partners to drive bookings by providing tactical offers aimed at stimulating travel to Australia from the UK’.
Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said: “The announcement today enabling fully vaccinated travellers from Britain to Australia quarantine-free from 21 February is a significant step in rebuilding international visitation from Australia’s international tourism markets across the globe.
“Australia has long been a popular outbound destination for British travellers, with more than 700,000 visitors travelling to our country annually pre-COVID, and we are really excited that we will have the opportunity to welcome back visitors from the UK, one of our key international markets, as travel resumes.
“Throughout the pandemic Tourism Australia has maintained an active presence to keep Australia top of mind in the market.
“Now, with the reopening of travel from Britain to Australia, Tourism Australia will be working with its trade and distribution partners on dedicated marketing campaigns to urge travellers to come and enjoy all the incredible tourism experiences that await them in Australia.”