Although Australia's long-standing ban on international travel will be lifted as of November 1, inbound travel will initially be limited to Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families.
With some 40,000 Australians overseas registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as wanting to return, getting them home for Christmas is clearly a high priority.
But the country is already laying out a timetable for foreign nationals to wing their way into Sydney, Melbourne and other capital cities as they move towards quarantine-free arrival for fully vaccinated flyers.
Federal Trade and Tourism Minister Dan Tehan says that vaccinated international students, working-holiday visa holders and agricultural workers could be welcomed back before Christmas.
"Ultimately we want to make international travel happen as seamlessly as possible globally, because that's the best way we can ensure the global economy continues to thrive," he said in a Bloomberg Television interview Tuesday.
The first visitors could come from Singapore, with the country opening a 'Vaccinated Travel Lane' with Australia as of November 8.
While at first restricted to Australians jetting to and from Singapore, students and business pass holders from Singapore may be booking flights to Australia by the end of November.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore says it expects "student and business pass holders from Singapore to be able to enter Australia, after Australia has finalised the arrangement for their entry. Other travellers from Singapore would not be able to travel to Australia until a later stage."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has previously maintained that skilled migrants and students would receive priority over tourists in visiting Australia, but last week indicated that tourists might be dusting off their passports for late December.
"That is very possible, and very achievable before the end of the year," Morrison said at a press conference held inside a hangar at Qantas’ Sydney Airport jet base last Friday.
He added that following the establishment of the Australia-Singapore travel bubble "we would open up to more visa class holders coming out of Singapore."
The Bali bubble
Thailand has already said it will welcome fully-vaccinated visitors from Australia as of November 1, although discussions between Australia and Indonesia about reopening popular getaway destination Bali could hang on this being a two-way tourism arrangement.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce believes a 'Bali bubble' may be in place in time for Christmas holidays, saying on Friday that "the Indonesian government is looking for Bali, which is highly vaccinated, to do something similar to New South Wales" in terms of removing quarantine for the double-jabbed.
Earlier this week, Trade and Tourism Minister Tehan said the Bali bubble could open 'very soon'.
"The Covid situation on the ground in Bali is continuing to improve... it'' obviously an incredibly popular destination for Australians in particular, and tourism is such a huge part of the Balinese economy so we will continue to have discussions."
Tehan added that discussions were also continuing with Japan and South Korea about allowing vaccinated Australians to enter without quarantine.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg