Australia announces steps towards reopening to international travel

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The state of Victoria, home to Melbourne, will scrap quarantine for vaccinated travellers (Getty Images)
The state of Victoria, home to Melbourne, will scrap quarantine for vaccinated travellers (Getty Images)

Australia has announced further steps towards reopening to international travel.

The state of Victoria - home to the city of Melbourne and the Yarra Valley wine region - has announced that it will scrap quarantine for fully vaccinated arrivals from 1 November.

The state’s Premier, Daniel Andrews, confirmed the move on Friday, saying that vaccinated arrivals must have had a negative test within 72 hours of their departure, as well as taking a test within 24 hours of arriving in Victoria.

“This means that we will reduce our hotel quarantine program down to just a handful of hotels,” Andrews said earlier today.

It brings the state in line with New South Wales, which announced that it would be dropping quarantine for the vaccinated earlier in October.

But tourists in most countries have some way to go before they can fly to Australia.

The country’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also announced that Australia will start a “travel bubble” arrangement with Singapore, with plans coming into effect “within the next week”.

The air corridor will operate in a similar way to Australia’s present arrangement with New Zealand, with vaccinated visa holders able to fly in, and students and business travellers initially prioritised.

Mr Morrison said that the Australian government was in the “final stages of concluding an arrangement with the Singapore government” ahead of the plans.

“We anticipate that being able to be achieved within the next week or so, as we would open up to more visa class holders coming out of Singapore, we will see that occur,” he added.

The Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, tweeted: “Delighted to hear that Australia will be allowing entry to visa holders from Singapore. Look forward to resuming close connectivity between our countries, as we move towards an endemic COVID future”.

No set date has been announced for allowing UK travellers into Australia, but Qantas boss Alan Joyce has indicated that the national airline will be opening routes to New Delhi, Singapore, Bangkok, Phuket, Johannesburg, Fiji and Bali before Christmas.

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