Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021

21 Janvier, 2021, 09:41 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • International Travel Unlikely For Australians Until 2022

Brendan Murphy, since taking office a year ago, has been urging Prime Minister Scott Morrison to close Australia to foreign travelers.

Australia is due to start its vaccine rollout by the middle of February. It's been a key part of the nation's COVID-19 strategy, along with mass testing, sophisticated contact tracing and strict lockdowns.

In response, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the health and safety of Australians remains the government's top priority, and worldwide borders would only reopen "when global arrivals do not pose a risk to Australians".

"I think that we'll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions", he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

"The Australian government is working on travel arrangements with countries, such as New Zealand, that have low community infections".

"The answer is probably no", he said. "While there is criticism of China at that time, I think there is also a lot we can learn from the Chinese response, they had a bad situation there which they have been able to come through."Asked how high the vaccination uptake would need to be in Australians for borders to reopen, and whether vaccination would also mean changes to hotel quarantine, Kelly said he would not speculate and that these were among the criteria for reopening still under discussion."It's a very dynamic space", he said."Large and effective rollout of vaccination would increase our protection which would be of value".

Overseas travel for Australians is unlikely this year, even with coronavirus vaccinations

"At the moment we've got this light at the end of the tunnel, the vaccines, so we're going to go as safely and as fast as we can to get the population vaccinated and then we'll look at what happens".

An inoculation campaign is set to begin in Australia next month.

The cases have prompted authorities to send three Australian Open charter flights into hard quarantine, forcing more than 70 players into a 14-day hotel room isolation.

The border closures have hit the tourism industry hard. The education sector, once popular with Chinese and Indian students, has also been badly damaged by Australia's travel ban on most foreign nationals.

"Already airlines have indicated that if you're not vaccinated you can't travel overseas and I think that'll be incentive to a lot of people", Berejiklian told 2GB Radio.

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