Travel restrictions

Australia further eases travel restrictions

International tourists are urged to book a flight Down Under, as the federal government eases restrictions in a bid to bring travel back to pre-pandemic levels.

Nearly two years of border restrictions have crippled Australia’s once-thriving tourism sector.

But the government hopes that the relaxation of travel rules will entice more tourists to make the trip.

While international travelers will still need to be fully immunized, from April 17 they will no longer need to have a negative COVID test result to board a flight to Australia.

Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the rule would end with the ban on cruise ships.

Meanwhile, Australia’s biggest airline has launched a new campaign to showcase the country as a top destination for international tourists.

The Qantas campaign features Australia’s iconic landscapes, as the country’s sporting and cultural stars sing “I Still Call Australia Home” with members of the Australian Girls Choir, National Boys Choir and Gondwana Choir.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce has said the Peter Allen classic will be the carrier’s new anthem.

“The full version of this ad is actually a short film that showcases Australia’s stunning natural beauty and unique culture while celebrating the incredible resilience that has really shined through recently,” he said.

Commerce Minister Dan Tehan announced new support for the tourism industry on Friday.

The government will provide $75.5 million to travel agents and travel arrangement service providers to continue operating and rebooking travel credits.

An additional $60 million over three years will attract more visitors from new international markets, including additional support for the Business Events Bid Fund attracting major events in Australia.

LATEST 24-HOUR COVID-19 DATA FROM ACROSS AUSTRALIA:

NSW: 19,843 cases, four deaths, 1,177 in hospital with 44 in intensive care

Victoria: 8,349 cases, nine deaths, 250 in hospital including 18 in intensive care

ACT: 947 cases, no deaths, 42 in hospital including three in intensive care

Queensland: 9,404 cases, eight deaths, 295 in hospital including 19 in intensive care

Northern Territory: 306 cases, no deaths, 22 in hospital including two in intensive care

Tasmania: 1,695 cases, no deaths, 28 hospitalized including one in intensive care