Australian borders have been closed since March 2020. This is a long time in terms of being unable to travel for business or pleasure or when the impacts of a halt in the migration program are considered.
Why should the borders open sooner rather than later?
Closed borders are having a negative effect on the Australian economy as revenue raised through immigration and tourism has ceased. The sooner borders open, the sooner Australia can work towards a healthy financial future.
So, what would it take to have our borders open sooner?
In order to open borders, there needs to be less risk of Covid-19 entering our shores. While anyone entering Australia is required to quarantine, there is still the risk of those quarantining having Covid-19 and in some instances transmitting it into the community due to lapses in the hotel quarantine program.
As has been discussed on numerous occasions, a dedicated Federal Government run quarantine facility would be far more efficient than the current hotel quarantine arrangements run by each state and would potentially eliminate any quarantine breaches.
The Covid-19 vaccine and its rollout in Australia and overseas could also have a large impact on Australia opening its borders. Those that have had a Covid-19 vaccine, would possibly be exempt from quarantining or entitled to reduced quarantine times thus reducing the strain on the quarantine system.
If a majority of the population worldwide were to be vaccinated, it could see Australia’s migration program recommence. We would be able to resume student visas which would benefit the hospitality and retail industries and working holiday visas for farm and regional workers would also be able to resume.
The flow-on effects from a vaccinated community would be a boost to tourism. People not only want to travel overseas but there are plenty of people who want to travel to Australia. Allowing travellers into Australia, will have them spending money in the tourist hotspots that have suffered financially since Australia’s borders were closed.
Of course, lockdowns further delay plans to open borders and have a devastating effect on businesses and mental health. Improved contract tracing and management of the system would potentially result in no more lockdowns. A contract tracing system that doesn’t require shutting everything down to ‘catch-up’ would benefit all involved.
Opening the borders has become a bit of a wait and see game. Hopefully measures are put in place that will see borders open and remain so for the long-term.
If you would like to discuss any aspects of migration, contact the team at Visa Solutions Australia on 1800 828 008.
While Australian borders are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel exemptions may apply under the following circumstances:
- A traveller has a compassionate or compelling reason to visit Australia
- Overseas workers holding a Subclass 482 or 400 visa are required to undertake a job in Australia that cannot be filled by a local employee
Visa Solutions Australia has been successful in acquiring a broad range of exemptions, from critical workers to those needing to travel on compassionate grounds.