Effective February 21, 2022, the Australian government will reopen the country’s borders to all fully vaccinated visa holders. The government’s announcement means that, for the first time in nearly two years, fully vaccinated tourists, business travelers, and others will be allowed to enter Australia without first receiving a travel exemption. The easing of entry restrictions also comes as Australia is experiencing a 23% decline in COVID-related hospitalizations as the omicron wave begins to fall.
Reopening to All Fully Vaccinated Visa Holders
Australia’s decision to begin reopening the country to fully vaccinated tourists, business travelers, and others is a major milestone in the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The move follows the government’s decision in December 2021 to allow exemption-free travel for fully vaccinated visa holders in specific subclasses, including the 482 – Temporary Skills Shortage visa and the 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa, among others. The government’s most recent announcement expands exemption-free travel eligibility to all fully vaccinated visa holders.
Visa holders who are not fully vaccinated will still require a valid travel exemption to enter Australia, and will be subject to state and territory quarantine requirements.
Recognized Vaccines and Proof of Vaccination Status
For travel purposes, the Australian government will consider an individual to be “fully vaccinated” if they have completed a course of a vaccine approved or recognized by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), including mixed doses. The current vaccines and dosages accepted for purposes of travel are:
- One dose of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine; or
- Two doses, at least 14 days apart, of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Bharat Biotech, Sinopharm, Sputnik V, or Novavax vaccines.
At least seven days must have passed since the final dose of vaccine in a course of immunization for the traveler to be considered fully vaccinated. Travelers must present a print or digital copy of an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC) as proof of immunization.
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