Australia May Reopen Its Borders to International Travelers in April, Prime Minister Says

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this week that he'd like to open borders "well before Easter."

A general view of pedestrians crossing the bridge with the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia.
Photo: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images

Australia may look to fully reopen to international tourism by Easter in April, the country's Prime Minister told a local radio station this week.

"Well I can't give you a specific date yet…and that's because we're just watching how omicron is sort of washing over the eastern states," Scott Morrison said of reopening during an interview with a Cairns radio station, according to "I'd like to see us get there soon — certainly before Easter, well before Easter."

Morrison did not give an exact date for the planned reopening.

"We've just got to get some medical advice further on that, a bit more work to do with the states to make sure we're comfortable," he said.

Australia has maintained stricter border measures than many other countries during the pandemic. Currently, only certain groups of people, including Australian citizens, permanent residents, and their immediate family are allowed to enter the country, according to the Department of Home Affairs.

Vaccinated travelers from certain countries, like Singapore, Japan, and South Korea are also welcome to arrive quarantine-free.

Australian carrier Qantas, which resumed flights between the country and the rest of the world last year, requires all passengers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States classifies Australia as a "Level 4" destination, indicating a "very high" level of COVID-19 transmission in the country and telling Americans to avoid traveling there. A destination is classified as "Level 4" if there are more than 500 COVID-19 cases reported per 100,000 people over the last 28 days.

Australia's potential opening in April would be ahead of neighboring New Zealand, which plans to reopen to Australians as well as all visitors who can normally travel visa-free to the country no later than July, according to the New Zealand government.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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