Australia to Reopen Borders for Meetings and Incentives

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Australia reopens

Australia is reopening its borders to vaccinated international travelers — including attendees and exhibitors coming to the Land Down Under for business meetings and events — beginning Feb. 21, 2022.

The country also will be dropping its quarantine restrictions for international travelers as long as they can provide proof of full vaccination, obtain a valid Australian visa and be able to present a negative rapid antigen test (RAT) within 24 hours of departure or a Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure (unless a medical exemption applies). Unvaccinated travelers who hold a valid visa still will have to obtain a valid travel exemption to enter Australia and will be subject to state and territory quarantine requirements.

Individual Australian states and territories also have entry requirements that may change over time, so be sure to check with the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website’s State and Territory Information page for requirements of the meeting’s destination, as well as any areas attendees may have to pass through on their way to the final venue.

This latest step is the final piece of Australia’s planned reopening to international travel that began last fall as it reopened its border to incoming, fully vaccinated travelers from Singapore in November, then to visitors from Japan and South Korea in December. Australia’s full reopening should be a boon to the country, which has long been a popular destination for business events, whose attendees numbered 950,000 and accounted for $4.02 billion Australian in 2020 before COVID caused the country to shut down to international travelers on March 31, 2020.

“The announcement enabling fully vaccinated business events delegates to Australia quarantine-free from 21 February is a significant step in rebuilding international visitation from Australia’s key international business events markets across the globe,” Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said.

“Throughout the pandemic Business Events Australia has maintained an active presence to keep Australia top of mind and maintain engagement with our customers abroad. Now, with the reopening of travel to Australia, Business Events Australia will be working with its trade and distribution partners on a dedicated marketing campaign to make sure our prospective customers know we’re open and ready to welcome delegates back to enjoy our exceptional destinations, world-class venues and unique experiences,” she added.

The reopening comes as Australia has achieved a 90% vaccination rate for citizens aged 16 and up and infections from the Omicron variant are beginning to subside. COVID hit the Australian tourism economy hard, with international and domestic revenue deficits of about $72 billion since the pandemic began, according to Tourism Research Australia.

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