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Australia fully reopens shut borders, welcomes back tourists

Travel And Hospitality

Australia fully reopens shut borders, welcomes back tourists

Business travelers and international tourists began arriving in Australia with few restrictions after nearly two years of some of the most draconian pandemic measures of any democracy worldwide.

The nation closed its borders to tourists in March 2020 to reduce the local spread of COVID-19. Still, on Monday, the Australian government removed its final travel restrictions and opened its borders for fully vaccinated passengers.

Over 50 international flights will reach the country through the day, including 27 touching down in Sydney alone, the country’s largest city. The hospitality and tourism sectors look to rebuild after being decimated by the COVID-19 restrictions.

Speaking to reporters from the tourism-dependent island state of Tasmania, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that it was a very exciting day, one day that he had been looking forward to for a long time, from the first day that he shut the country’s borders right at the beginning of the pandemic.

Tourism is one of Australia’s biggest industries, worth over A$60 billion ($43 billion), and employs nearly 5% of the nation’s workforce. However, the sector was crippled after the country shut its borders in March 2020.

As Australia’s borders fully reopen, the country’s Omicron coronavirus variant outbreak appears to have peaked, with hospital admissions steadily decreasing over the past three weeks.

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