The international border ban will be lifted a month earlier than expected with overseas travel to begin in November.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the official announcement this afternoon after talking to state and territory leaders in the national cabinet.
Australia’s border has been closed to all non-citizens and non-residents since March 2020.
There will be new rules for international travellers including being fully vaccinated and pre-flight Covid tests. Fully vaccinated Australians and permanent residents arriving to NSW will now also be able to home quarantine for a week.
Morrison said it was “time to give Australians their lives back”.
“We’ve saved lives,” he said. “We’ve saved livelihoods, but we must work together to ensure that Australians can reclaim the lives that they once had in this country.”
International travel will be available for those states that have reached 80 per cent vaccination rates, starting with New South Wales followed closely by Victoria.
“To maximise the number of Australians who can return, our government is also offering facilitated flights into any state or territory that agrees to commence seven day home quarantine trials for returning Australians,” Morrison said.