Australia has abolished the mandatory declaration of COVID-19 vaccination status for travelers beginning this week, officials said on Monday.
In a statement, Health Minister Mark Butler said people will now be able to travel to and from Australia without being required to declare their COVID-19 vaccination status from July 6.
“The Australian government makes decisions on COVID-19-related issues after considering the latest medical advice," said Butler.
However, travelers will still comply with any remaining COVID-19 requirements of airlines and shipping operators, as well as other countries and states and territories.
"This currently includes wearing masks on inbound international flights. State and territory orders mandating masks on domestic flights also remain in place," said the minister.
New Zealand opens work visas
Meanwhile, New Zealand on Monday also announced to open work visa applications for people offshore after two years to overcome the skilled worker shortage in the country.
Announcing the decision, Immigration Minister Michael Wood called it another significant step forward and said this is the third and final stage of the new simplified Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) policy, which will allow migrants offshore to apply for a work visa to come and work in New Zealand for an accredited employer.
“We know a major constraint on business currently is access to skilled labor. This is happening the world over, but the Accredited Employer Work Visa will play a role in increasing the available pool of labor to fill skilled work shortages,” Wood said.
According to the minister, the work visa application will process within 20 days as they are planning to fully open their international border from the end of this month.
Last month, New Zealand started welcoming visitors from around 60 countries for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic over two years ago.
* Writing by Islamuddin Sajid