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Australia could reopen to tourists as soon as April: Here's what we currently know

Feb. 02, 2022
3 min read
Sydney Opera House
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This article will be updated as the story develops and new announcements are made.


Almost two years after Australia first closed its doors to international visitors, the nation may finally be about to open back up.

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Since March 2020, the Land Down Under has been all but closed off to foreign tourists, in one of the strictest and most sustained COVID-19 border policies the world has seen during the pandemic.

At first, Australia would not even allow its own citizens to leave.

Related: 8 common misconceptions about visiting Australia

That changed in October last year as the first Australians were spotted stumbling and blinking back out into the world after almost two years of international isolation.

And this week, the news finally came that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was considering allowing foreign visitors back into Australia, possibly in time for Easter.

When could Australia reopen?

Speaking to a local radio station, Morrison said he couldn’t give a specific date until the omicron waved had “washed over." Then he added: “I’d like to see us get there soon … certainly before Easter, well before Easter.”

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"I don't think it's too far away, to be honest, but we've got to get some medical advice further on that, a bit more work to do with the states to make sure we're comfortable about [reopening],” he told Cairns radio station 4CA.

Easter this year falls from April 15 to 17.

Who can currently travel there?

As of Nov. 1, 2021, only Australian citizens, permanent residents, their families and people with special permission could enter the country. Residents were able to go anywhere, except Western Australia, which remained in an “indefinite lockdown."

Then, on Dec. 15, it reopened its doors to returning residents, working holiday visa holders, and international students as long as they are fully vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated visitors from New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and South Korea were also allowed in last year in travel bubble agreements.

If Australia does reopen in April it currently remains to be seen whether the country will be open to all or whether there could be additional restrictions in place for certain nations.

What are the current restrictions, and will I need a booster?

All international arrivals to Australia must show a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding their flight, whether it’s a PCR or rapid antigen test. PCR tests must be taken within 72 hours before the flight’s scheduled departure, while rapid antigen tests must be done within 24 hours.

Eligible visitors are also required to complete an Australia Travel Declaration (ATD) at least 72 hours before departure, which includes a declaration regarding their vaccination status. They will also be asked to upload their vaccination certificate.

The Australian authorities provide an "information for international travelers fact sheet" to all travelers on arrival in Australia. This provides information on current requirements

Featured image by (Image courtesy of Keith Zhu / Unsplash)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

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  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more