Australia will reopen to fully vaccinated travelers in 2 weeks

Australia will reopen to fully vaccinated travelers beginning Feb. 21, officials announced Monday.

The move comes nearly two years after it first closed its international borders to slow the spread of COVID-19, and several months after beginning a gradual reopening that allowed certain tourists and foreign workers to enter the country.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison noted at a news conference that Australia has progressively opened its borders through programs with New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and South Korea, and also began welcoming international students and economic migrants late last year. That welcome will soon be extended to visa holders and international tourists, on one condition.

“The condition is, you must be double vaccinated to come to Australia,” Morrison said. “That’s the rule. Everyone is expected to abide by it.”

Australia as a whole has seen a drop in COVID-19 cases since they hit their peak in early January. About 80% of its population is fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University.

This story originally appeared in the Morning Edition live blog.

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