Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official
January 19, 2021 1:18 pm
Anyone entering Australia has to undergo a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine. [Source: BBC]
Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned.
The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.
Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.
Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.
He told the ABC that he thinks Australia will go most of this year with substantial border restrictions even if a lot of the population is vaccinated because they don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of COVID-19.
Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.