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Australia to reopen borders after 18 months of closure

Credit: Canva

Australia will start to reopen its borders next month after an 18-month ban on unauthorised travel abroad for citizens, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday.

Under new rules, vaccinated Australians will be able to travel abroad “in the coming weeks”, as soon as the objective of 80% vaccination of the population is reached, Belga News Agency reported.

“The moment has come to give Australians their lives back. We will prepare ourselves for this and Australia will take off very soon,” Morrison affirmed.

He added that vaccinated residents will be able to quarantine at home for seven days after their return, thereby avoiding the mandatory two-week quarantine in a hotel – a hugely expensive measure that has been in place until now.

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On 20 March 2020, Australia introduced some of the strictest border restrictions in the world in an attempt to seal the island nation off from the coronavirus pandemic.

For the 560 days subsequent, international flights have been grounded with travel abroad limited to an absolute minimum.

The measures have separated families across continents and prevented Australian nationals from returning home. Equally, foreigners have been stuck in Australia, unable to take flights to see family or friends.

Figures from the Ministry of the Interior show that over 100,000 appeals for entry or exit from Australia have been refused in the first five months of 2021 alone.

The Brussels Times

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