It was a pleasant, cold morning as winter set all over the MysticLand. Verum was sitting by the window with a cup of warm milk. Felix, on the top bunk, was sleep-flying. Orak was wrapped up in comfy blankets like a burrito. Just then, Scorch returned from her morning run. Verum was going to wish her a good morning when her crystal ball gave loud beeps. It was time for world gazing, Verum thought excitedly.
“It’s good news,” Verum shared happily, “Australia has eased its international border restrictions for the first time during the Covid-19 pandemic. It means Australians who have completed two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine can travel freely without quarantine.
On 2nd November, the first flights landed at the Sydney airport.”
Scorch said, “The airport will now be filled with sights of warm hugs and families reuniting after a long time.”
“Absolutely,” Verum said, “Australia had one of the world’s strictest border restrictions during the pandemic. The 18-month-long restrictions banned citizens from leaving the country or returning.”
“Who is allowed to travel?” Orak said, rubbing his eyes awake.
“Good morning, Orak,” Verum said, “Currently, the flights are limited to Australian citizens, permanent residents, and their close family members. Around 47,000 people can now return to the country. Fully vaccinated tourists from New Zealand and Singapore will be allowed as well.”
“The next step of the plan would be to allow international tourists and workers into the nation. It will give a much-needed boost to the country’s economy,” Scorch said.
“Why did Australia relax the rules?” Felix spoke up from the top bunker.
“It’s because 80% of people aged 16 and above in New South Wales and Victoria are fully vaccinated. They are the most populous states in the country.
But the travel rules differ in different states. For example, Western Australia is still cut off from the rest of the country and the world. It is trying to protect its virus-free status.”
“If I remember correctly,” Orak said, “even with the Delta variant outbreak, Australia’s Covid-19 cases were lower than other countries.”
“You’re right, Orak,” Verum said, “the country had around 170,000 infections and 1,700 deaths.”