PM commits to open international travel by Christmas

TD Syndicated Partner

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has backed the federal tourism minister’s estimate that foreign travel will resume “at the very least” by Christmas.

Morrison noted in Washington on Thursday morning AEST that the nationwide reopening plan “allows people to travel again.”

“This week, we will hit three-quarters of Australians aged over 16 first dose (COVID vaccine coverage) and we will hit one-in-two having their second dose,” Morrison stated.

Mr Morrison said he was looking forward to welcoming back students and skilled migrants when borders ease.

“And those vaccination numbers will continue to rise.

“And as they rise, the opportunities to get back to life as normal as it can be, and living with the virus, will just be coming closer each and every day.”

Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan spoke at the National Press Club on Wednesday.

“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,” he stated.

“We have to stick to the national plan that will see our international border open up – at this rate by Christmas at the latest.”

According to the national strategy, fully vaccinated Australians can resume foreign travel once a state and the national average reach 80% vaccination protection.

According to Tourism Minister Dan Tehan, Australia’s international crossings should reopen by Christmas. Photographer: AAP

According to the most recent Federal Government figures, 48.5 percent of the eligible population is currently fully vaccinated.

New South Wales is virtually certainly going to be the first state to achieve 80% double dose protection, with the prime minister indicating he had been chatting with Premier Gladys Berejiklian about how the state would facilitate travel if it reached that mark.

In the following weeks, state officials will test a residential quarantine scheme.

The trial, which will be run by NSW Health, will allow around 175 fully vaccinated people to return from abroad and be quarantined at home for seven days.

“Sydney is a global city and it must engage with the globe,” NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres stated.

Qantas and Virgin are preparing for more overseas flights to restart in December with vaccination expected to be a condition for travellers.

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