10 Aug 2021

Boosting Australia’s Vaccination Rate to Reopen International Travel

On 30 July 2021, Prime Minister, Scott Morrison specified Australia must reach a 70% vaccination rate before it can move to the next phase of reopening international travel.

Building on the National Cabinet’s Four-Stage Plan announced last month, here’s a summary of the ‘Plan to Transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response’ and vaccination targets:

Phase A – Vaccinate, Prepare and Pilot

Current Stage – As of 3 August 2021, Australia only reached a 15.6% vaccination rate of people over 16 years that have received 2 vaccine doses

Accelerate vaccination rates and booster program

International borders closed

Inbound international arrivals caps temporarily reduced and repatriation flights increased

Lockdowns if outbreaks occur and domestic travel restrictions in response to lockdowns

Trial alternatives for quarantine – eg, home quarantine for returning vaccinated travellers

Expand commercial trials for limited entry of student and economic (skilled) visa holders

Adopt the digital Medicare Vaccination Certificate

Phase B – Vaccination Transition Phase 

International arrivals caps to be relaxed once Australia reaches an approximate 70% Vaccination Rate of 2 doses

Maintain high vaccination rates and vaccine booster program

International border caps and low-level international arrivals with quarantine

Restore inbound passenger caps at previous levels for unvaccinated returning travellers and larger caps for vaccinated returning travellers

Lockdowns less likely

Ease restrictions of vaccinated residents (to be determined)

Reduced quarantine for vaccinated residents

Capped entry of student and economic visa holders subject to quarantine/availability

Phase C – Vaccination Consolidation Phase 

Gradual reopening of international travel once Australia reaches an 80% Vaccination Rate of 2 doses 

Maximise vaccination coverage and continue vaccine booster program

No caps on returning vaccinated Australians

Lift all restrictions on outbound travel for vaccinated Australians

Gradual reopening of inward and outward international travel with safe countries and proportionate quarantine for fully vaccinated inbound travellers

Highly targeted lockdowns only

Vaccinated residents exempt from domestic restrictions

Increased capped entry of student, economic, and humanitarian visa holders

Extend travel bubble for unrestricted travel to new countries (Singapore, Pacific)

Phase D – Final Post-Vaccination Phase 

International border to reopen. Target vaccination rate not specified. 

Open international border

Allow uncapped inbound arrivals for all vaccinated persons without quarantine

Allow uncapped arrivals of non-vaccinated travellers subject to pre-flight and on arrival testing

Quarantine for high-risk inbound travel

Minimise community cases without ongoing restrictions or lockdowns

Boosters as necessary

Pharmacists added to PMSOL for Priority Skilled Visas

Recently, the occupations Hospital Pharmacists, Retail Pharmacists and Industrial Pharmacists were added to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) for a priority visa to assist with distributing the vaccine.

This brings the number of occupations on the PMSOL to 44. The PMSOL allows employer-sponsored and independent skilled visa applicants to access fast-tracked visa processing on the basis that their skills are in critical need during the pandemic – read more here.

While Australia’s international border is closed, it may still be possible to enter with a Travel Exemption for critical skills or compassionate or compelling reasons.

Immigracious | Migration Connections made Simple

We hope this was helpful – Australia is clearly working to vaccinate its way out of international travel restrictions.

You may also be interested in our other articles:

More Occupations Eligible for Skilled Migration to WA
Priority Skilled Visas During the Pandemic
Leaving Australia | Outbound Travel Exemptions
Critical Work and Compassionate Travel Exemptions to Come to Australia
Applying for a Partner Visa in the COVID-19 Era

Should you require advice on your Visa or Travel Exemption options, we encourage you to get in touch with Immigracious’ Registered Migration Agents to arrange a consultation so we can consider your circumstances.

You may also wish to connect with us on Facebook to keep up to date.

Immigracious’ Migration Agents
Migration Institute of Australia
Prime Minister, Scott Morrison – Media Release
Prime Minister, Scott Morrison – Media

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

Filed in: Uncategorized


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