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Weeks ago, a letter surfaced between Tennis Australia and prospective Australian Open players which proclaimed good news.

The letter stated that from December 1st, arrivals for the tournament could enter on standard flights, rather than chartered flights, and no quarantine period would be needed for any arrivals from this date.

The wording of the letter, which no doubt would have been carefully considered, seemed to indicate insider knowledge that New South Wales and Victoria, home to Sydney and Melbourne respectively, would be opening quarantine free travel from December 1st.

It wasn’t entirely clear whether that would only apply only to Australians abroad or returning home and these specials arrivals, or toward a more general application for any visitors too. Naturally, everyone speculated for the worst.

But now weeks on, the reopening news continues to flow. After welcoming citizens of Singapore from November 21st for quarantine free entry, Australia is adding a wider list of accepted visitors and visa holders, including arrivals from two new countries.

a large rock cliff on a beach

Australia’s Latest Reopening News

On November 21st, Australia opened its foreign border to what’s largely the first group to make it back in as visitors. Fully vaccinated Singaporean citizens are able to enter Australia without quarantine, even for tourism.

The measure was announced by Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, stating a clear direction for the coming mmonths.

“Australia is slinging its doors open to fully vaccinated Singaporean travellers in November.”

“This is another significant milestone in our step by step approach to safely reopening to the world that we outlined in the National Plan.”

“This means within weeks Australia will be welcoming tourists from two of our top ten travel destinations. This is the billion dollar boost that Australia’s tourism industry has been waiting for. “Australian PM, Scott Morrison

Now, in the latest expansion to quarantine free travel, Japanese and Korean visitors who already hold visas will be able to enter Australia, alongside: skilled migrants and international students.

Only territories which are ready for visitors will receive them initially, and for now that seems to be New South Wales and Victoria, thanks to high rates of vaccination.

Even More Hope For January 1st

After nearly two years of brutally strict border policies, many expressed significant doubt when Australia announced inroads to reopening. Was it all an exercise, or would people actually be able to visit and reconnect?

Right on time, visitors from Singapore were able to enter without issue, and now a new list of visitors from a regularly expanding list of countries are too. Impressively, it’s all happening ahead of the December 1st date discussed for wider plans.

While it’s highly unlikely that Australia will open to all vaccinated visitors in December, the current track certainly makes it look like vaccinated visitors from all over the world could be welcomed back in January.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. It’s Singaporean citizens only – not residents (including “permanent residents) which has caused a bit of upset locally!

  2. Again, when you say Australia you mean New South Wales and Victoria. Fortress Western Australia will remain closed to any arrivals until well into 2022. The most recent poll has 89% of WA residents wanting the borders closed tight to protect our COVID FREE lifestyle FREE of restrictions. I say again 89%. You have no chance of entering WA any time soon.

  3. More than 30% of residents in Singapore are not Singaporean nationals (i.e. they are Permanent Resident or Employment Pass Holder). It’s a sad decision to only allow Singaporean nationals visit as it significantly tarnishes Australia’s reputation for equality and common sense.

    It’s also an entirely political decision: the virus does recognise passports!! and the Singapore population is obviously completely mixed via schools, work, transport, supermarkets etc and via mixed nationality families.

    Results in some crazy situations like that my wife and kids can travel to Australia but I cannot – they are apparently a safer risk than me even though we share a house, kitchen, bedroom etc ….

    Very disappointing and surprising.

  4. The brutally strict policies as you call it has kept Western Australia COVID FREE and FREE of restrictions. You have no chance of entering fortress Western Australia. 89% of WA don’t want you to enter.

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