European citizens can now travel to Australia nearly two years after they were prevented from traveling there due to global pandemic restrictions.
According to a press release from the country’s Ministry of Home Affairs, the measure will go into effect on February 21, TheSchengen.com reports.
“From February 21, 2022, all fully vaccinated visa holders can travel to Australia without a travel waiver. Unvaccinated visa holders will still need a valid travel waiver to enter Australia.”
More specifically, a person is considered to have been fully vaccinated by Australian authorities provided that they have received the initial course of vaccination with one of the following doses:
AstraZeneca Vaxzevria AstraZeneca Covishield Pfizer / Biontech Comirnaty Moderna Spikevax or Takeda Sinovac Coronavac Bharat Biotech Covaxin Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for people under 60 years of age upon arrival in Australia) Gamaleya Johnson Research Institute Sputnik Biotech V Noviluvax Vaccine
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Several travel and tourism organizations have welcomed the decision, such as the Tourism and Transport Forum. According to the forum’s CEO, Margie Osmond, the sector is “elated” but still has details to work through.
“This move puts an end to Castle Australia. It is the light at the end of the tunnel that small businesses, tourism operators and the events industry so desperately needed to see,” said CEO Jennifer Westacott of the Australian Business Council.
In addition, New Zealand announced a similar lifting of its travel ban, which will take effect on February 27. And both countries, along with the United States, have had some of the longest-running pandemic bans.
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), 2,364,744 positive cases with COVID-19 and 4,201 deaths have been recorded since the pandemic began. In addition, 212,573 of these have been reported in the past seven days.
Moreover, Australian Department of Health data shows that more than 95 per cent of the population over the age of 16 has been partially vaccinated, while 93.8 per cent or 19.3 million have received initial treatment for vaccination. An estimated 9.1 million Australians have been vaccinated with a booster dose. 51,369,320 total vaccine doses have been administered nationally as of February 7, representing an increase of 217,265 in vaccinations recorded in the past 24 hours.
On the other hand, data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reveal that 74.1 percent of the total population in the EU/EEA has been partially vaccinated, 70.4 percent have received initial treatment and 45.9 percent have received vaccination. Booster shot. To date, 318,985,125 vaccines have been administered from the initial cycle to the European population.