ANKARA

Australia on Monday announced the reopening of its borders for fully vaccinated tourists from Feb. 21.

A statement issued from the Prime Minister’s Office said the country will reopen to all fully vaccinated visa holders, welcoming the return of tourists, business travelers, and other visitors.

“These changes will ensure we protect the health of Australians, while we continue to secure our economic recovery,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“Australia’s health system has demonstrated its resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including though the recent omicron wave. With improving health conditions, including a recent 23% decline in hospitalizations due to COVID, the National Security Committee of Cabinet today agreed Australia is ready to further progress the staged reopening of our international border,” it added.

However, those visa holders who are not fully vaccinated will need to apply for travel exemption and if the government approves their request to enter Australia, they will have to quarantine.

Morrison said that the new decision to reopen borders for tourists would boost tourism.

In 2018-19, Australia generated over $60 billion with more than 660,000 jobs, however, the COVID-19 outbreak in the country hit the tourism industry as Australia remained among those countries which strictly closed its borders for travelers from abroad until November of last year.

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