Australia Won’t Welcome Foreign Tourists Until At Least 2022

FILE - In the Aug. 20, 2015, file photo people people watch from a beach as a Qantas plane taxies on the runway at Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia. International tourists won't be welcomed back to Australia until next year, with the return of skilled migrants and students given higher priority, the prime minister said on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)

(AP) — Australia’s prime minister says foreign tourists won’t be welcomed back until at least next year. Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined plans Tuesday for lifting some of the toughest and longest COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed by any democracy. The country will prioritize the return of skilled migrants and students after it hits Morrison’s vaccination benchmark for reopening its external borders. The news comes just days after Morrison announced plans to allow vaccinated citizens and permanent residents to fly overseas from November for the first time since March 2020. The severe travel restrictions have trapped most Australians at home and kept most foreigners out and have led to the lowest level of immigration since World War II.


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