Australia is ready to open its borders for those who are double vaccinated.
“Hope this marks the end of the mission for this group,” Kalam Vamshi posted in the WhatsApp group created for connecting with others who wanted to travel to Australia from India.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new border rules would come into place on February 21.
“The condition is you must be double vaccinated to come to Australia,” he said.
“That’s the rule. Everyone is expected to abide by it.”
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said unvaccinated travellers would still need to apply for a travel exemption to come to Australia and have to undergo hotel quarantine if they were granted permission to enter the country.
Mr Morrison said that even if people had the correct visa to enter Australia if they were not fully vaccinated — or had an exemption — they would not be allowed to enter.
“I think events earlier in the year should have sent a very clear message to everyone around the world that (that) is the requirement to enter into Australia,” he said, referring to the recent case of tennis player Novak Djokovic who was deported from Australia.
Australia had closed its borders to the world in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vamshi, who helped numerous people travel to Australia during the border shutdown, is hopeful that people would soon be able to travel freely without any restrictions.
“It was my duty to help others during such crisis. Afterall we are Humans and are supposed to show our basic quality of helping others. I am happy that this ended amidst the chaos created by social media where uncooked stories fake news were spreading rapidly,” he told NRI Affairs.
“What Australia did was the best to keep the trust of the citizens intact but would have been much better if they addressed the problems and issues faced by the stranded ones. Now that the borders are open, I feel very very happy for those who can now reach their loved ones,” he said.