Qantas increases flights as Australia anticipates tourists soon

Qantas Airways announced Friday its plans to resume international travel from Sydney, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison predicted that tourists would be welcome back to Australia in this year's Australian Year.

Qantas increases flights as Australia anticipates tourists soon

The travel of vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents will be allowed to Sydney starting Nov. 1, without any need for quarantine at the hotel.

Morrison stated two weeks ago that students, skilled migrants, and Australians would have priority over foreign tourists when they come to Sydney. He forecast that tourists would return to Sydney in 2022, or later.

Morrison believes that tourists will be given the same priority as other visitors, but they will be returning this year.

Morrison stated, "That's very possible and very realizable before the end of this year."

Qantas, based in Sydney, announced that services to Thailand and South Africa, Singapore, South Africa, Fiji, had been delayed by weeks or months. New Delhi will see a new service in December. This is the first Indian flight in nearly ten years.

Qantas stated that the New South Wales state government's decision not to require quarantine for travelers who travel to Sydney from New South Wales had significant increased travel demand.

Qantas' 22,000 employees and Jetstar, its budget subsidiary Jetstar, would return to work December six months earlier than expected.

These changes are due to New South Wales' rapid adoption of vaccines. Nearly 93% of those aged 16 or older had received at least one vaccine and 83% were fully vaccinated by Friday.

Only Canberra, the capital city of Australia, has a higher percentage of people who have been vaccinated.

Due to supply issues and distrust of AstraZeneca locally made, Australia had one of the lowest rates of vaccinations of any wealthy country. It has now one of the highest thanks to supply agreements made with Britain, Poland, and Singapore.

After Victoria reached a target of 70% vaccinations, Melbourne, Australia's largest city, was released from 77-day lockdown Friday.

Pandemic restrictions were lifted despite Victoria experiencing the worst day of the delta-variant outbreak, with 16 COVID-19 victims. In the last 24 hours, 2,189 new infections were also detected.

"Victorians have done an amazing job, it's fair for me to say. Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews stated that so many people went and got vaccinated so quickly.

He said, "We have always believed that lockdowns are a result of not having the vaccine we need but if we were vaccinated, then we'd have so much more options."

After reaching the same 70% vaccination threshold, Sydney, the city where the Delta outbreak started in June, was released from lockdown last week.

New South Wales reported Friday's five deaths from COVID-19 and 345 new infections.