Australia might have had one of the world’s strictest travel restrictions since the pandemic began. But it seems like that’s about to change really soon.

So soon, in fact, that Australia’s Tourism Minister Dan Tehan has announced plans to open international borders up by Christmas. Unfortunately, this only means that Australians will be able to travel abroad — regardless of the destination — so Malaysians can hold off on buying those plane tickets there for now.

(Image credit: Troy Mortier/Unsplash)

The restrictions will only be lifted once the vaccination rate in their home states reach 80 percent, which if anything, should be motivation for its residents to get vaxxed. Australia’s borders have been mostly shut to non-citizens and non-residents since as early as March last year. They would, however, not be exempt from the rules governing the countries they visit.

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If you were itching for a holiday to the Land Down Under, there might just be plans in the near future. The Australian government is exploring travel bubbles with several countries, with hopefully reduced quarantine time for visitors to and fro.

Tehan also hopes that home quarantine will be operational by Christmas. Either way, this is plenty good news for the travel industry as a whole and for those looking forward to travel restrictions easing around the world as we try to navigate the new normal today.

For more information on Australia’s National Plan for COVID-19, click here.

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.

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