Australia prepares to open its borders despite Corona

Australia prepares to open its borders despite Corona

Just a few days ago it became known that Western Australia is keeping its borders closed for the time being because crown numbers are skyrocketing elsewhere. Now there is talk of new passports and border openings this year. An overview of the situation in the crown and the situation of tourists. 

Australia could soon open its international borders despite Corona. Discussions about so-called “travel bubbles” with other countries, new passports and advances in vaccines currently dominate the media, as do Lockdown and Delta. 

Will the border open in November? 

New travel vaccination card in progress 

Australia is currently working on a new travel vaccination card. It could be ready in November and contain all the information about the vaccination status. The so-called “Digital Passport Declaration” (DPD) will replace both the Passenger Card and the Covid19 Australia Travel Declaration Form. The new digital passport is one thing above all: a sign of the opening of borders. 

“The DPD will help reopen Australia’s international borders safely by providing digitally verified Covid19 vaccination details,” Home Secretary Karen Andrews said in a statement. That will help “welcome more and more Australians home, as well as the tourists, travellers, international students, skilled workers and foreign friends and families we all miss during the pandemic.” 

Border opening with 80 per cent vaccination rate 

Corona vaccines are funded in Australia in parallel with the new digital vaccination card. Currently, the government says international travel will be possible again when an 80 per cent vaccination rate is reached for those over 16 years of age. This applies to the entire continent, as well as the borders of the individual states of Australia. Current estimates assume that this goal can be achieved by mid-November 2021. 

Corona situation in Australia 

Australia has survived the corona pandemic relatively lightly so far. Since the delta variant has spread, the crown numbers have also increased there despite the mostly closed borders. Currently, many parts of the country are still blocked. As mentioned, Western Australia recently closed its borders with the other Australian states because crown numbers are increasing mostly in New South Wales and Victoria, while they are at zero in the west of the country (more on this below). 4,444 The median value of new corona infections per day across Australia is currently around 1,503, with 1,272 new cases on September 14, 2021. 1,128 of these were reported in NSW alone. Neighboring Victoria reached 129 new infections on the same day. In Australia there have been a total of 76,895 corona infections since the start of the pandemic,  1,102 people have died in connection with the virus (as of September 14, 2021, source: Australian Ministry of Health). 

After vaccines started a little slower, Australians are now doing the same. Currently, 69.1 per cent of the Australian population over the age of 16 is simple, 43.9 per cent of those over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated (as of September 14, 2021, source: Australian Department of Health). 

Western Australia closes borders until vaccination quota is reached 

Western Australian Prime Minister  Mark McGowan said on the 6th that he had not had any cases since the end of June. “The border closure should continue until 80 to 90 per cent of people are vaccinated then  Western Australia will again allow people from regions with a high number of infections to enter. McGowan explains:” I hope we will reopen as soon as possible. as we have high vaccination rates. I hope this will be the case sometime next year.  

At the same time, the Prime Minister made it clear that even with a correspondingly high vaccination rate, the borders would not immediately open to New South Wales and Victoria: “What we have said is 80 to 90 per cent and of that, we will establish a date “. McGowan hopes the border can be opened about two months later. 

In support of this, he explains: “Imagine it was the other way around and Western Australia was the place infected with thousands of cases and New South Wales or Victoria had none. Would you really want to open up with us? I think the answer would be ‘ no’ “. 

Official border opening on December 17, 2021 

Australia’s international borders have been closed since March 2020 (with some exceptions). Only Australian citizens and residents and their immediate family members can enter, as well as those who have passed the last two weeks before entering New Zealand. In most cases, however, there is a two-week quarantine obligation. Even  Australians themselves are only allowed to leave the country in a few countries. 

It was not until early September that the so-called “Human Biosafety Emergency Period” was again extended for three months and with it the ban on travel to and from Australia. The current date for the opening of the border in Australia is December 17, 2021. It is not yet clear whether the country will open its borders, extend restrictions, or open earlier because vaccination rates were reached.  Australian airline Qantas is confident. CEO Alan Joyce expects international flights to the UK, the US and parts of Asia to start around Christmas this year.

Read our blog on Australia will not allow visitors to enter until the end of the year 

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