Australia reopens to vaccinated travellers, while Hongkongers struggle with quarantine
- By: Hamish CHANEdited by: Clarice Wu
After 704 days, Australia finally reopens its international border to fully vaccinated travellers, except for Western Australia, its border is scheduled to reopen on March 3.
At least two jabs of vaccines are required to visit Australia. To visit State Victoria, travellers must be vaccinated with a booster on top of the two doses.
Unvaccinated travellers with medical proof of not being suitable for vaccination may need to quarantine for 14 days, while the vaccinated do not need to undergo quarantine.
There will be 56 international flights landing in Australia today worldwide, including Hong Kong.
“My message to tourists all around the world is: ‘Pack your bags and come and have one of the great experiences you could ever imagine,” said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“Don’t forget to bring your money with you because you will find plenty of places to spend it’,” he added.
Karla Warner, the manager of Queensland Museum Shop, said she is excited to see visitors returning to Australia.
“Finally, we can have international visitors after two years,” said Warner.
She expects that more visitors will go to the museum and grab souvenirs, which can boost the shop's sales.
“I am optimistic with the sales,” said Warner.
She expects that visitors will bring new energy to the economy which has been affected by the pandemic.
However, potential visitors from Hong Kong are struggling with the local quarantine policy.
Li Chi-chung, said he wants to meet his son, who is studying in Melbourne, but the quarantine policy in Hong Kong stops him.
“I want to see my son face-to-face, but I do not want to spend a month in quarantine when I come back from Australia,” said Li over the phone.
Currently, Australia is one of the listed countries with flight suspension in Hong Kong. Travellers who have been to the country must wash out in other non-listed countries, such as Singapore, for at least 14 days.
After the washout, they will still need to undergo a 14-day quarantine in designated hotels.
Li said he would travel to Australia if they do not need to quarantine when they come back.
In 2019, right before the border closure, the travel industry made around AU$30 billion (over HK$168 billion) from international travel. However, the revenue dropped to less than a billion Australian dollars last year, according to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission.
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