Australia, which has been closed off to most of the world since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, may not reopen its borders until at least late 2022, the country's finance minister Simon Birmingham suggested last week.
"We recognize that if Australians want to be kept safe and secure…and given uncertainties that exist not just in the speed of the vaccine rollout but also the extent of its effectiveness to different variants of COVID, the duration of its longevity and effectiveness, these are all considerations that mean we won't be seeing borders flung open at the start of next year with great ease," Finance Minister Simon Birmingham told The Australian on May 6, according to news.com.au
But future travellers shouldn’t get their hopes up on any specific date or timeline.
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison clarified the plan a few days later, posting on Facebook that the country’s international borders will only open “when it is safe to do so.”
"We still have a long way to go, and there are still many uncertainties ahead," Morrison wrote.
In addition to being closed to travel from most countries, Australia also requires a mandatory two-week hotel quarantines for those individuals who do enter.
Last month, Australia implemented a bubble with New Zealand, which eliminated the need to quarantine.
However, last week, New Zealand pressed pause on the quarantine-free policy to Australia's New South Wales to look into new cases of COVID-19 in Sydney, Reuters reported.
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