Accelerated international border opening welcome but business concerns remain

01 Oct 2021 |

Announced today, the plan to end the international travel ban is a crucial step towards getting Australia back to business. However, tourism operations and businesses that rely on skilled foreign workers are being left in the lurch.

From the beginning of November, restrictions will be lifted for fully vaccinated Australians on all inbound and outbound travel from states that reach the 80 per cent double vaccination rate.

“Instead of another year of stop-starts and uncertainty, we now have tangible steps towards reopening international borders.  Ending the travel bans gives business and individuals the ability to begin planning and get back to a more normal life,” ACCI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.

“This sends a clear message – we cannot have states who reach vaccination thresholds opposing the reopening of domestic borders.  If Australians, who are double vaccinated, can travel around the world, they must be able to move across the country.

“We need the immediate confirmation from state and territory governments that they intend to uphold this commitment.

“The introduction of home quarantine arrangements will enable current international travel caps to be increased.   Passenger caps for Australian citizens should never have applied in the first place, so it’s essential that governments discontinue these arrangements as soon as possible.

“However, today’s announcement doesn’t address many of the challenges that businesses are facing.

“With international borders still closed to foreign citizens, Australian businesses are confronting skills shortages at a level not seen in two decades.  We need an efficient and affordable plan to bring skilled migrants into the country to address these crippling shortages.

“The tourism industry also needs confidence to resume their operations. It is vital for the Government to reopen to international tourists as soon as it is safe to do so.

Jack Quail

Media Officer

P  |  0498 181 207

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