Australia is set to reopen its borders to tourists by Christmas at the latest, according to the country’s Tourism Minister, Dan Tehan in a broadcast on Wednesday, September 22.
According to CNN, the biggest goal the country needs to meet to reopen is hitting the country’s 80 percent fully vaccinated milestone; as of today, Our World in Data records that 38.71 percent of the country’s population is fully vaccinated, while 59.17 percent have received at least one dose.
Tehan noted that travelers from other countries must be fully vaccinated to enter the country, and Australia is planning on implementing vaccine passports for use with international visitors, including those from Japan, Singapore and the United States.
Qantas, Australia’s national airline, will slowly begin phased international flights beginning in December 2021; the official news about its restart came on August 26 prior to the Australian government’s update about the country’s reopening. The first countries the airline will begin flying to and from will be those with high vaccination rates.
The country, home to 25 million residents, has had 90,369 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began and 1,186 deaths. Australia is currently experiencing its worst wave of cases this month, when on September 15th, daily positive case numbers reached a record 1,765.
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