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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed Australia’s border will reopen to temporary visa holders on Wednesday despite rising Covid transmission in the country.
From tomorrow, skilled migrants, international students and working holidaymakers will be able to re-enter Australia and a travel bubble with Japan, Singapore and South Korea will be able to go ahead.
"Tomorrow, we will begin welcoming students to Australia again, skilled migrants, working holidaymakers, under those visa programs," the prime minister said.
"From tomorrow, Korea, as I announced yesterday with the President and Japan, also join with Singapore and New Zealand."
To enter Australia, visa holders will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The plans for Australia's international reopening on December 1 were pushed back due to concerns about the Omicron variant.
"We had a pause on the opening that starts tomorrow and we did that because we were waiting for the picture to emerge a bit more clearly before taking that next step, and now we feel confident to take that next step," Mr Morrison said on Tuesday.
The prime minister added due to "one of the highest vaccination rates in the world" Australia is able to open up in time for Christmas.
"We've got a long way to go but I tell you, we're better prepared than almost any other country in the world to deal with this and continue to stare this virus in the face and live with it," he said.
The pause on the reopening of borders to South Korea and Japan was announced on November 29, days before the December 1 initial reopening date.
In Australia, over 89 per cent of people aged 16 and over are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The changes to international borders comes after Australia updated its advice on booster shots.
Australians can now get a booster shot five months after the second jab, as Moderna is approved to join Pfizer as a booster option.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt was encouraged by evidence showing Omicron led to a milder illness despite being more transmissible.
Doherty Institute director Sharon Lewin stressed booster shots made a significant difference in protection against Omicron.
"All of that information that's coming in is suggesting that Omicron looks milder, but people that have been vaccinated with just two doses are less protected than they were from Delta," she told ABC radio on Monday.
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