Australia is unlikely to welcome back tourists until mid-2022 at the very earliest, the country's government has revealed.

The Australian Treasury revealed the country's Budget 2021 plan, which included a look at when borders could reopen.

In the documents it confirmed that "inbound and outbound international travel is expected to remain low through to mid-2022, after which a gradual recovery in international tourism is assumed to occur".

However, some travel may be allowed a little earlier. According to the Budget there are plans to allow a small number of international students to return in late 2021, as well as passengers from 'Safe Travel Zones'.

Two kangaroos sit amidst the grass on Kangaroo Island in Australia
Australia may not welcome back tourists until late next year

Just last week the country's finance minister Simon Birmingham had told local media that factors such as Covid variants and the speed of vaccine rollouts, Australians "won't be seeing borders flung open at the start of next year".

The news comes just days after Australia was announced as one of England's 12 green list countries and territories, where Brits would not need to quarantine when returning to the UK.

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Currently Australia has closed its borders to most travellers, with some exemptions such as Australian citizens returning home or travellers who have a "compassionate or compelling reason" to enter the country. It has also opened a travel bubble with New Zealand.

Anyone arriving into the country will need to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result, and all international arrivals must undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine in one of the designated facilities - including quarantine hotels.

Originally, there had been hopes that Australia could reopen its borders by October 2021 - in fact, the country's national airline Qantas had announced plans to restart international flights at this time. (The airline has yet to confirm its schedule or plans following the news of the budget).