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Australian official suggests borders may re-open by Christmas

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: April Pethybridge on Unsplash

Its borders have been closed since March 2020, but Australia may be ready to re-open by Christmas, according to its tourism minister. According to a TTR Weekly report, Dan Tehan, minister for trade, tourism, and investments made the suggestion while participating in an online talk organised by the National Press Club of Australia.

“I do empathise with the Australians who have been denied the opportunity to travel overseas this year. It’s another reason why everyone should get vaccinated, and we have to stick to the national plan that will see our international border open up – at this rate by Christmas at the latest.”

Tehan added that the country can only re-open once enough people have been inoculated, urging people to get vaccinated. Australia wants 80% of its 25 million population vaccinated prior to the borders being re-opened. The rate of fully vaccinated Aussies currently stands at 38%, with officials launching an advertising campaign to boost uptake. The campaign bears the slogan, “It’s our best shot for travel” and urges Australians to get the vaccine.

Travellers to Australia will also need to be fully vaccinated to enter the country, with the government considering a trial of so-called “vaccine passports” with places like Singapore, the US, and Japan. The national carrier Qantas has also said it will gradually resume international flights from early October. Currently, anyone admitted to Australia must carry out mandatory quarantine.

SOURCE: TTR Weekly

 

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