Covid Australia: Scott Morrison reveals when nation will FINALLY welcome back international tourists

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Scott Morrison reveals when Australia will FINALLY welcome back international tourists after two years of hard border closures – giving the economy a much-needed boost

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison lays out when tourists allowed back to Australia
  • Most International visitors have been required to quarantine since March 2020
  • The border closure during the Covid crisis has decimated the tourism sector 


Scott Morrison has promised Australia’s hard-hit travel sector international tourists will be welcomed back ‘well before Easter’.

The prime minister slammed the nation’s borders shut in March 2020 as the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe.

He said it’s now finally time for holidaymakers to come back as tourism operators struggle to stay afloat. 

Prime Minister Morrison says it's finally time for holidaymakers to come back as tourism operators struggle to stay afloat. Pictured: Australia's Far North

Prime Minister Morrison says it’s finally time for holidaymakers to come back as tourism operators struggle to stay afloat. Pictured: Australia’s Far North

Mr Morrison pictured on Tuesday. He has promised Australia's hard-hit travel sector that international tourists will be welcomed back 'well before Easter'

Mr Morrison pictured on Tuesday. He has promised Australia’s hard-hit travel sector that international tourists will be welcomed back ‘well before Easter’

In the 2020–21 financial year, 99 per cent of all visitor spend came from domestic tourism, according to official Austrade data. Pictured is a tourist in Australia

In the 2020–21 financial year, 99 per cent of all visitor spend came from domestic tourism, according to official Austrade data. Pictured is a tourist in Australia

‘I can’t give you a specific date yet… and that’s because we’re just watching how Omicron is sort of washing over the eastern states,’ Mr Morrison told 4CA radio in Cairns on Friday.

‘We just got to get some medical advice further on that, a bit more work to do with the states to make sure we’re comfortable about it. 

‘I’d like to see us get there soon, certainly before Easter, well before Easter.’  

The mid-April deadline comes as Australia battles to contain the highly-infectious Omicron variant with a further 40,000 cases recorded on Friday, adding even more pressure on the tourism industry as domestic visitors stay home.

In the 2020–21 financial year, 99 per cent of all visitor spend came from domestic tourism, according to official Austrade data.

The $81billion influx of cash was down 41 per cent on 2019 figures – before the virus struck. 

The prime minister slammed the nation's borders shut in March, 2020, as the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe. Pictured: Tourists in Sydney

The prime minister slammed the nation’s borders shut in March, 2020, as the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe. Pictured: Tourists in Sydney 

Australia did ease some international travel requirements on December 15 allowing returning residents, working holiday visa holders and international students to skip the mandatory quarantine period as long as they are fully vaccinated.

Double-jabbed visitors from New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea were also offered the same freedoms last year in travel bubble arrangements.

The massive drop in visitors has also caused a severe shortage of workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors as operators struggle to fill the gap left by young working holidaymakers from abroad.

The massive drop in visitors has also caused a severe shortage of workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors as operators struggle to fill the gap left by young working holidaymakers from abroad

The massive drop in visitors has also caused a severe shortage of workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors as operators struggle to fill the gap left by young working holidaymakers from abroad

Australian Chamber-Tourism chief executive John Hart told said Wednesday, the reopening should be expedited for fully-vaccinated travellers to save jobs.    

‘The tourism sector was one of the first to feel the huge costs of Covid-19,’ he told the Australian Financial Review. 

‘The international border has been closed to tourist markets for 675 days and counting.

‘As a matter of priority, the federal government must expedite the reopening of our international borders to all fully vaccinated travellers, a move that will provide the tourism industry with confidence to resume their operations.’    

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