Sydney - Skilled workers, international students, and other eligible visa holders are again allowed to enter Australia almost two years after the country's international borders were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Vaccinated visa holders were initially supposed to be allowed to come to Australia without needing to apply for an exemption from December 1, however the Canberra government postponed the reopening to Wednesday due to the emerging Omicron coronavirus variant.
Eligible visa holders included what Prime Minister Scott Morrisontermed "skilled workers and student cohorts, temporary working holidaymakers and provisional family visa holders."
Vaccinated travellers from Japan and South Korea were also allowed to enter Australia as part of bubble arrangements starting on Wednesday following a two-week delay.
The reopening pause ended on schedule despite spiking case numbers in some states.
"Australia is well placed to deal with COVID-19 and its emerging challenges like the Omicron variant," Australia's Chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly said in a Wednesday statement.
"Our high COVID-19 vaccination rates and boosters have put us in a very good place... We are well prepared."
Australia's international borders have been closed to all but residents and citizens, with a few exceptions, since March 2020, with caps on international arrivals introduced in July 2020.