Australia eases travel advisory ahead of reopening

 Thursday, October 28, 2021 

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On Thursday, October 28, 2021, Australia eased its Covid-19-related travel advice for several countries, including the United States, Britain and Canada, as it prepares to reopen its borders next week for the first time in more than 18 months.

Australia will lift its outbound travel ban for fully vaccinated residents from November 1 following a strong uptake of Covid-19 vaccines, as Sydney and Melbourne, its biggest cities, look to welcome overseas travellers without quarantine.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said in a statement that the current changes announced are a vital next step in reuniting Australian families and safely reopening Australia to the world. The updated country-specific travel advice will also help Australians to access travel insurance more readily, Ms Payne said.

As Australia begins to ease Covid-19 travel curbs, Victoria on Thursday recorded its deadliest day of the Delta outbreak with 25 deaths and 1,923 cases, the biggest rise in infections in four days. Neighbouring New South Wales, home to Sydney, logged 293 new cases, down from 304 on Wednesday.

Despite the Delta wave, national coronavirus numbers are still relatively low by global standards, with about 166,000 cases and 1,694 deaths. Australia has been gradually easing tough restrictions in Sydney and Melbourne, helped by higher vaccination levels after a third wave of infections fuelled by the highly infectious Delta variant spread rapidly across its southeast.

The relaxation in travel rules, however, is not uniform across Australia, as the country’s states and territories have differing vaccination rates and health policies. Under the updated travel advice framework, the “do not travel” advisory, put in place for all destinations in March last year has been removed. But no destination will be set lower than “level 2 – exercise a high degree of caution”.

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