From 21 February, Australia finally opened its borders to the world. For 704 days the borders remained closed, protecting Australia from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic that has so far taken 5.75 million lives worldwide.

Australia’s borders reopened for fully vaccinated visa holders, but immigration levels were still capped at pre-pandemic levels as authorities expect reaching the cap will take some time.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, at the time of the announcement said it would, “give certainty to our vital tourism industry, and allow them to start planning, hiring and preparing for our reopening. 

“In 2018–19, tourism generated more than $60 billion for the Australian economy, with more than 660,000 jobs dependent on the industry.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison