November 30, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

Australia’s Federal Government has announced a pause in the reopening of Australia’s international border, due to the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in Africa.

The date for the next step of Australia’s border reopening in which 200,000 or more skilled migrants, working holiday makers and international students are expected to arrive in Australia in the space of a few months has been pushed back by two weeks from December 1 to December 15. The travel bubbles for tourists from Korea and Japan have also been pushed back by two weeks.

According to a media statement released jointly between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and several other federal ministers last night, “the temporary pause will ensure Australia can gather the information we need to better understand the Omicron variant, including the efficacy of the vaccine, the range of illness, including if it may generate more mild symptoms, and the level of transmission”.

The Australian Government already banned flights between Australia and eight southern African nations for two weeks over the weekend and reintroduced 14-days hotel quarantine for returning Australian citizens, permanent residents and their families if they have been to any of the eight African countries in the two weeks prior to entering Australia.