Australia soon open to vaccinated New Zealanders

Vaccinated New Zealanders will be allowed into Australia quarantine-free starting on Monday.

That's according to Australia's tourism minister Dan Tehan in a statement on Sunday, as the country readies for a partial reopening of its borders for the first time since March 2020.

Tehan said, "The resumption of quarantine free travel from New Zealand to Australia is another important marker on our road to recovery."

For now, only tourists from neighbouring New Zealand will be allowed in.

Meanwhile, vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents living in New South Wales, Victoria and the capital Canberra learned they'd be free to fly internationally starting next week without the need of an exemption or quarantine upon return.

Australia closed its borders at the start of the pandemic.

It only allowed a limited number of its citizens and permanent residents to return from abroad and even then, they were subject to a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

That ended after vaccination rates in people over 16 in New South Wales, Victoria and Canberra passed 80 percent, a condition for the resumption of international travel.

There were more than 1,200 new coronavirus cases recorded across Australia on Sunday and 13 related deaths.

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