More than 18 months after Australia closed its borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our world is finally opening up again with Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently announcing a fast-tracked plan to “take our lives back” and reopen the international borders.
However, the borders will only open for Australian citizens, permanent residents and their parents, and the Prime Minister has confirmed border restrictions will remain in place for visitors and other temporary visa holders.
There will be quarantine-free travel to NSW and some easing of restrictions for parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents too.
While this is incredible news for organisations looking to return to full international mobility of staff, here’s what it means for you.
International borders reopening: What it means
The plan for Australia to take its next steps to safely reopen to the world, comes off the back of reports that suggest global talent and migration are the keys to overcoming the skills shortage to get the country back on track – and this only spells good news for companies considering hiring global talent to fill the skills shortages they are facing.
It also means Australian families can be reunited with their parents, and Australian workers and holiday makers can travel in and out of the country, as a first step towards rebuilding and reopening the country.
Reopening the borders: The key points
In the latest address from the Prime Minister, he revealed more changes are on the horizon, however, the key points of the borders reopening are:
- The first phase includes reopening international travel to Australians and permanent residents leaving the country. To date, this has only been possible for Australians and permanent residents who receive special exemption to leave due to critical work or compassionate reasons.
- Home quarantine will be established in all of Australia’s eight states and territories, but this may be introduced in different phases and dates on state-level. The PM mentioned this will be applicable to vaccinated travellers.
- The PM also recognised that foreign nationals will once again be able to travel to Australia, but he did not mention in what phase this will be allowed.
- The key vaccination figure he referenced to re-open the border is 80% vaccinated above the age of 16.
- PM Morrison also mentioned the government is in discussion with other countries to introduce quarantine-free travel. We know from the past that Singapore has been one country where such arrangements have been discussed.
Additional analysis by TMA
We are cautiously optimistic as the borders reopening will be implemented at a state-level and the phases are currently not clear. However, this is good news that Australia is shifting its policy towards living with COVID-19. Similar approaches have been discussed in Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, among other countries.
We do not currently have any information on the phases or how this will be implemented on state-level, however, NSW announced last week that it is open to all international visitors. The good news is that more flights will be coming to Australia as vaccinated travellers will not need to quarantine and the arrival caps will be for unvaccinated travellers.
To read more about how these changes will affect your business, read the latest update here.
Work with the team at TMA
Reopening the international borders: As Australia braces for the borders to re-open and international travel to resume, now is the ideal time for businesses to get ready for a return to international business travel and talent mobility.
To work with our specialist team on your company’s return to talent mobility, please get in touch with us today.