Thursday Feb 2, 2023
Thursday Feb 2, 2023

Vaccinated Australians to have greater international travel freedom

2021 Apr 18, 11:20, Canberra, Australia
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, left, addresses the media at a press conference as Department of Health Secretary Dr Brendan Murphy watches at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Friday, April 9, 2021. Australia says it has finalised a deal to buy an extra 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine as the nation rapidly pivots away from its earlier plan to rely mainly on the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Photo via AP)

The Australian government has flagged greater freedoms for those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Stuart Robert, minister for employment, workforce, skills, small and family business, said on Sunday that vaccinated Australians could be allowed to travel overseas and quarantine at home on their return before the "vast majority" of the population has been inoculated.

As of Sunday morning, there had been 1.48 million vaccines administered in Australia.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has said Australia's borders could remain closed even after the entire population is vaccinated, but Minister Robert said Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made it "quite clear" that he wants borders open.

"One of the challenges, of course, is if we vaccinate the population, it is voluntary," Robert told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) TV.

"We'd hope that the vast majority of Australians would be vaccinated. But if only 80 per cent are vaccinated or 90 per cent, you would still have 10 per cent who are not vaccinated, over the age of 18, and therefore unprotected.

"And that leaves open the opportunity, unfortunately, for COVID-19 to still roll through the community. And that's just the reality of when people have choices, as they should in Australia."

Earlier on Sunday, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said "work was well underway" on a plan that would allow vaccinated Australians to quarantine at home on arrival in the country.

"We are looking to open international borders as quickly as we possibly can but the role of the government is to make sure we are keeping Australians safe and secure," she told Sky News.

"We are working across government, with many agencies, to ensure we are ready and able to support the opening of borders as and when that happens. We will be led by the health advice."


Australia Canberra covid-19 COVID-19 vaccine vaccination travel Health Ministry Ministry of Employment ABC TV International Border Prime Minister Scott Morrison
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