The Australian government plans to open international borders no later than Christmas Day celebrations on 25 December.
Australia’s Tourism Minister; Dan Tehan; said Kangaroo Country residents would be allowed to travel abroad without Covid-19 restrictions to countries that had agreed travel corridors or travel bubbles with Canberra.
With that; Tehan said Australians would still comply with the rules regarding the countries they may visit.
“People will be able to freely travel outside Australia without any restrictions and restrictions under the national plan that regulates the level of risk countries are at risk from Covid-19 infection;” said Tehan as quoted by The Straits Times on Thursday (23/9).
Tehan said Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government was exploring opening travel corridors with several countries to ease a number of travel restrictions; including quarantine times.
Tehan hopes that the self-quarantine policy for foreign arrivals can be implemented before Christmas Day arrives.
“This is another reason why everyone should be vaccinated and we must stick to the national plan that will open our international borders; at this rate at the latest by Christmas;” Tehan said.
Tehan has also coordinated with the aviation industry in Australia. One such airline; Qantas announced; it will slowly restart flights in October.
Tehan said the border opening policy came into effect after the vaccination rate in the Australian states reached 80 percent each.
“It’s very important that we make those preparations;” said Tehan.
Australia has become one of the countries with the strictest restrictions in the world since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
In March 2020; Australia closed its borders to non-residents and implemented a mandatory quarantine system so as to severely limit the number of people who can return to the country at any time.
PM Morrison’s government has also imposed rules preventing residents from leaving the country.
“I empathize with Australians who have been denied the opportunity to travel overseas for so long;” he said.
Last July; Australian broadcaster ABC reported that as many as 38;000 Canberrans were still waiting to be repatriated from overseas.
The opening of this border took place after Australia was hit by a new wave of Covid-19 following the spread of the Delta variant; forcing Canberra to tighten the lockdown again.
Until now; the overall Covid-19 cases in Australia reached 92;204 with a death toll of 1;196 people.